I am a housing assistance provider for people who are disabled and homeless or in jeopardy of losing their housing. The shortage of affordable housing in Bellingham is putting our most at-risk populations in unstable situations. As a result, I have watched this affect our community's overall health and well being. Some are forced to rely heavily on expensive emergency services, children suffer educational setbacks, veterans have few places to stabilize, and seniors lack affordable housing care options. We are truly only as healthy as our neighbors and it is unacceptable that anyone spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing costs.
Proposition 1 would allow us to make inexpensive housing a reality for far more of our community members. Additionally, if people are spending less on housing, they can spend more at local businesses. Prop 1 will also provide construction jobs and more eco-friendly, sustainable housing.
Something similar has worked in Seattle and I believe it would make our community flourish. A viable and just community does not push poverty to the isolated parts of the county away from transportation, jobs and services - this is not problem solving.
It is not a privilege to have an affordable home; it is a right. As a downtown resident and service provider I support this proposition. Please vote yes on Proposition 1 in November!