Bellingham is a compassionate town, and I imagine the vast majority of voters will reject Mitt Romney's vision for America. On Nov. 6, voters will also get to decide whether to help those less fortunate by approving Proposition 1, the low-income housing levy that will create the Bellingham Home Fund.
The cost of housing has not kept pace with wages. We have seen home prices go from $64,000 in 1989 to $284,000 20 years later. For every dollar of increased family income, housing costs went up four dollars. Neighborhoods that were once considered affordable saw home prices increase more than double in the past 10 years.
Not everyone can afford to buy a home, maintain the home that they have or pay rent so they have a roof over their head. On any given night there are 500 people living in shelters, in their cars, on the street or in the woods. The elderly have been hit hard by the recession, as their investment incomes have dried up.
Our service industry gets paid minimum wage, and if you work full time, you can afford to pay around $400 per month in rent - a price that the private market cannot provide. Two-thirds of the levy is required by law to help those households that earn less than half of the median area income. The number of households that need our help deserves a compassionate response from Bellingham.
Join me Nov. 6 by saying yes to Proposition 1.