Chattanooga: A Home to All
Over the past twenty five years, Chattanooga has experienced an urban renaissance. Once the “dirtiest city in America,” Chattanooga’s transformation, led by committed residents and practitioners, has produced a downtown that is clean, environmentally sustainable, culturally vibrant, and which economically, defies many state and national trends in downtown urban growth.
Although this progress is notable, we cannot deny that its benefits have not been shared equitably across its citizens. For some Chattanoogans, this urban growth led to better, higher paying jobs and moves into luxury housing along the riverfront. But for the majority of Chattanoogans living in the urban core, the experiences of the city’s renaissance have been increasing housing costs that outpace the growth of their incomes-- leading to greater housing insecurity and unaffordability for folks living and working across the city. In other words, the new Chattanooga is a place where fewer and fewer existing residents can afford to call it ‘home.’
The Chattanooga Affordable Housing Report - produced by Housing & Economic Development Planner Courtney Knapp, the Westside Community Association and Chattanooga Organized for Action and presented to the Chattanooga City Council on September 25th, 2012 - reveals the startling truth of the affordable housing crisis that is well underway in our city.
- 1 in 2 households in Chattanooga's urban core live in unaffordable housing and are burdened by housing costs.
- More than a quarter of all renters are severely burdened, paying more than 50% of their total income on housing costs.
- Almost half of all mortgage-holding homeowners living in the urban core - 2,756 households - live in unaffordable housing relatives to their incomes.
You can read the entire Chattanooga Affordable Housing Report by clicking HERE.
As the report makes clear, we need our city government to take action - sooner rather than later.
Stable homes means stable families.
A stable home is an affordable home.
Without affordable homes, our friends, neighbors, and our families will continue to suffer.
That’s not the Chattanooga way.
We can do better, and there is a solution!
SUPPORT THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING ORDINANCE!
The Affordable Housing Ordinance, if enacted into law, would increase, maintain, and improve the supply of affordable housing in Chattanooga.
Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance: This provision of the Affordable Housing Law would increase the affordable housing supply in Chattanooga by requiring that new residential developments built in our city’s urban core lease at least one out of every ten of their units to low or moderate income people. For the newest developments, the required number of affordable units would be up to three out of every ten. Mandatory inclusionary zoning laws are very common in the United States. In fact, two entire states and over 200 cities have used inclusionary zoning laws to provide affordable, mixed-income housing, making their communities more diverse and integrated and protecting families from displacement when new investment occurs. Many cities have adopted mandatory inclusionary zoning because voluntary incentive programs have historically proven to be ineffective at producing significant numbers of affordable housing units.
1-for-1 Replacement of Low-Income Housing: This provision of the law would maintain the affordable housing supply and make sure that the loss of many of our affordable homes stops. It would require that any new residential developments built by making way for the destruction of low-income public housing have just as many affordable units as there was before. Basically, if it was affordable then, it should stay affordable now.
Blight-Reduction: This provision of the law would improve the quality of the affordable housing supply and make sure that the newly-created affordable units are built to the highest standards possible. Any new units must match the strict guidelines followed by the Federal government to ensure that Chattanoogans aren’t living under slumlords.
You can help make the Affordable Housing Ordinance become law.
Help make the Affordable Housing Ordinance the law!
The Westside Community Association asks that you contact your City Council representatives and let them know we need to solve the housing crisis! Go to http://chattanooga.gov/city-council to find your Councilperson!
District 1: Deborah Scott
phone: (423) 425-7858
District 2: Sally Robinson
Phone: (423) 757-5334
District 3: Pam Ladd
Phone: (423) 757-5344
District 4:Jack Benson
Phone: (423) 757-5196
District 5: Russell Gilbert
phone: (423) 757-5332
District 6: Carol Berz
Phone: (423) 425-7852
District 7: Manuel Rico
Phone: (423) 425-7856
District 8: Andrae McGary
Phone: (423) 757-5364
District 9: Peter Murphy
Phone: (423) 757-5367
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join The Coalition for Affordable Housing!
Part of an organization that would like to sign onto the Coalition for Affordable Housing? Please contact email@example.com or call Joyce Headrick, President of the Westside Community Association at 423-760-0040 or call Perrin Lance with Chattanooga Organized for Action at 423-653-2393.