So, I send out one of these emails for the Affordable Housing Action Alliance and another person sent out the other from Occupy Madison/Activist – can you tell which is which? Since I have an extreme interest in both, I’m upset that I will be driving back from LaCrosse during the start of this meeting, but I hope to catch the end!
This Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 6:00 pm at the Alliant Energy Center(Exhibition Hall) the Dane County Board of Supervisors will be holding hearings on their budget in the areas of housing and homelessness. A part of this will be considering a capital expenditure for a homeless Day Center. If approved it could pave the way for a comprehensive Day Center which would consolidate services for the homeless which are now scattered throughout the city. It could also lead to housing the homeless which for many is essentially nonexistent. Currently, many of the homeless sleep in county parks, city parks, benches, and in various out of the way places.
An opportunity will be given for advocates of affordable housing and the homeless to give testimony. The meeting will begin at 6 pm. but a few of us will be outside the hall at 5:30 pm with informational signs advocating for a Day Center for homeless people. I have 5 signs ready to use but we need people to display them. Since I have only 5 signs ready it would be great if you could make one of your own. All you need is a sheet of cardboard and a marking pen. What follows are a few suggested phrases to write on the cardboard although you are welcome to create your own.
1. Housing Is A Human Right
2. Being homeless Is Not A Crime
3. Dane County Needs A Day Shelter before Winter
4. Support A Homeless Day Center
5. Don’t Criminalize Homelessness
6. 3500 People Were Homeless In Madison At Some Point During 2011
7. Many Homes Are Still Being Foreclosed In Madison and Dane County–Foreclosure Leads To Homelessness
I will be at Veteran’s Plaza on the Square at 5pm(at the foot of State St.) to provide rides to the Alliant Center. If more people need rides thanI have room for I will make several round trips. If you have a car please stop by the Square to give rides. I hope to see you there.
Wednesday, September 12th at 6:00 at Alliant Energy Center
The Affordable Housing Action Alliance has been advocating for affordable housing since 1998. We have made some progress and recently much of that local progress has been taken away from us by the state. Meanwhile, the vacancy rates are decreasing, rents are going up and the need for truly affordable housing is increasing at alarming rates which we are seeing in long waiting lists for many programs, landlord non-renewing people at increasing rates and growing homelessness. Meanwhile, advocates have turned to those most in need and are advocating for homeless issues – and the answer from local politicians is that we don’t need to help the homeless, we need more affordable housing. Well, the time is now! If the politicians are saying we need more affordable housing, lets make sure they address that need in their budgets!
The county is holding hearings on their budget in the areas of housing and homelessness next Wednesday. The Affordable Housing Action Alliance met today and identified 3 areas where we would like to see the county increase their funding for affordable housing.
1. The County should allocate funding to the DCHA to purchase single family, duplex and 4 and 8 unit buildings in foreclosure for scattered site affordable housing units for the Housing Authority.
2. They should annualize the Housing First funding and fund it for a full year instead of at the partial year amount funded in 2012.
3. The county should budget for the Housing Needs Assessment that was passed in the Comprehensive Plan and is several years past due.
While many of us probably would also support the need for a day center for the homeless, now is the time to advocate hard for more affordable housing solutions at the county level, since people say that is a priority, not homelessness. Let help them support what they say the need is!
p.s. If we missed any ideas that you think should be added, please let us know!
WE MEED BOTH!
The Affordable Housing Action Alliance has been talking about and trying to get affordable housing since 1996 and those efforts have mostly fallen on deaf ears of local politicians. So, now that efforts are focused on the homeless, elected officials are saying what we really need is affordable housing. Truth of the matter is we need both, and if elected officials are left to the ways, we’ll get neither. We need folks to show up and talk to whichever issue strikes you – or both . . . but the time is now!
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