Let's Talk: Housing
As far as housing for the people, I think a conversation about preventing the people from losing their homes and facing evictions needs to be had. The number is rising at a terrible rate. We are seeing developers coming to our city to build expensive units that seemingly collect dust and remains empty. In August, Chattanooga topped the list of rent increases of 5% or more. However, in Chattanooga, we topped the list with a 15.9% rent increment.
As a council, we are going to have to figure out a better way to better the lives and livelihoods of our fellow community members of our city. There are a few thoughts I have about this in particular. Two of those being, the point of rezoning and revitalizing parts of our city that have gone unnoticed and unutilized.
In District 8, the Harriet Tubman houses were demolished, and a 9-million-dollar property was given to Nippon paint for free under the promise that they’ll hire 150 Chattanoogans. If not, there is only a 1 million dollar fine.
The problem is that the paint factory jobs that are created, are mostly targeted to skilled experience. There is heavy doubt in my mind they will hire anyone from the surrounding neighborhood as was promised by the Mayor back in 2013 when the houses were starting to be demolished. This is a key zoning issue. We destroy 300 homes and the end result is now a factory that will pollute the area’s air and what do the people in the community get out of this? Possibly 150 jobs that have remained to be seen.
I would love for us to reallocate some of the funding that we have set aside for big businesses to consider looking into rezoning and revitalization for homeowners, future homeowners, and companies in the light of job opportunities. Taking into consideration our homeless population and the people of district 8, we have to really look at where our funding is going and who is profiting the most. How could we better use these funds to put back in the community with the thought of building/creating more affordable quality housing, and residential opportunities? Things like tiny homes, small condos, trailers, etc.
With all that being said, it is still vitally important to keep an open line of communication with businesses in this time to help bring jobs to our district. We need the jobs to bring the resources; Things such as reintegration groups and transportation companies. This is the efforts to help our homeless population to be reintegrated back into being in society. This is giving opportunities to help those in need relive their dreams of having a home, having a job, and even a meal to have.
These are thoughts I bring to the table on my key issue of housing for the people. We are seeing our numbers rise due to COVID-19, but in theory, those numbers were already rising. With bipartisan help and open line of communication, transparency, and new innovative ideas that encapsulate what we have, what we need, and where we are going. This is why I will be the best candidate for district 8. It’s time to put the people over politics.