32,128. That is the number I want you to have in mind when you go to the polls on November 4th and have a chance to vote “Yes” for Charlotte’s Affordable Housing Bond. 32,128 – that is the number of households that signed up over just five days for a chance to be put on the Charlotte Housing Authority’s waitlist for a Section 8 voucher. At the current rate of housing, it would take nearly 80 years to get through the entire list. While we celebrate the vibrancy of our city, it does not mask the incredible need for more affordable housing, not just for those living on the streets, but for those doubled-up with friends and family, living in motels or paying more than half their income simply to keep a roof over their head.
The history of homelessness in America is a short one – the current epidemic began less than 40 years ago, with its roots in our mental health policy as well as massive cuts to affordable housing. Part of our path out of homelessness must include a public re-investment in housing. In Charlotte, our officials have created the Housing Trust Fund to provide a local investment to build projects such as McCreesh Place, Moore Place, and dozens of other affordable housing developments. The funds come through voter-approved bond dollars, which Charlotte citizens have been supporting for more than a decade. We urge you to continue this trend and vote “yes” for the Housing Bond.
Here are a few other numbers to take with you to the polls….
- $15 million: The amount of the Housing Bond
- 20%: The portion of the Housing Bond that City Council has suggested fund permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals
- $0: The impact of a “Yes” vote on your tax bill
- 43%: The percentage of voters who voted against the Housing Bond in 2010. So, we do not take a “Yes” vote for granted. The Housing Bond needs your support.