Beth McKee-Huger: Greensboro Commits to Addressing the Neighborhood Housing Disaster | Columnists
Dozens of businesses and nonprofits are already working diligently to preserve affordable housing, help people access better places to live, buy and renovate derelict houses, and build new ones in unhealthy neighborhoods like Sallys and across town where life expectancy is is dramatically higher. The day-to-day performance of these housing providers is often underestimated, but taken together, forms the basis of the combined capacity Greensboro needs to tackle our community housing crisis.
Which apartments does your group build, repair or manage? Does your group help people find affordable housing or not to lose it? Let’s count the families our community serves collectively and the housing units that all produce.
The challenges are enormous. Prior to the economic and health impact of COVID-19, too many Greensboro neighbors were paying half their income on mortgages or rent, and many homes were at risk. Other neighbors were out on the streets, completely excluded from the housing market. After incomes plummeted, many others fell far behind; Tenants and mortgage owners were not given any income to pay their bills and carry out repairs. But housing costs continued to rise, widening the income-cost gap.
Our generous community responded with emergency relief to keep as many people as possible in their homes or hotels during the pandemic. Housing providers – both corporations and nonprofits – have somehow adapted to the pandemic. We recognize their heroic endeavors and we can carry that spirit into the future so that more people have safe and affordable places to live.