Adequate and affordable housing is important to a healthy community. The City should continue its smart growth policies, but pursue a balanced housing strategy that assures our workforce has access to affordable housing.
We should also find ways to incent construction of single-family houses in our core neighborhoods and those near downtown. Let’s use our existing infrastructure and help grow our city from within.
The ROOTs program that provides incentives for single family new construction in core areas of our City should be continued, and that may require lobbying the IDEA for continued funding. The Total Child program through Four Oaks and the Affordable Housing Network is an example of a public/private investment in one of our important neighborhoods. By increasing the number of single family homes and reducing the number of absentee landlords, the program helps foster a safer neighborhood where people want to live and raise their family. The City played an important role in that effort.
Other important neighborhood projects to address housing and poverty will launch soon and the City will need to play a part in those efforts, too. The City cannot be, and probably shouldn’t be, the sole answer to our homeless population or to our issues of poverty, but I believe the City can be actively involved in acknowledging these issues exist and leading discussions with those in our community who are best equipped to address them.
The City can also create some part-time jobs in the summer for our youth, possibly through our parks and recreation programs I will work to fund private funding for this event, if needed, because giving a young person that first job can be a life-changing event for him or her.