Pressing for action on affordable housing

04/12/2011 8:55 AM by

1,000 Richmonders from area congregations and all 9 members of the Richmond City Council will be gathering at the 2011 RISC Nehemiah Action Assembly – Pressing for Action on Affordable Housing this Thursday at Good Shepherd Baptist Church (1127 North 28th Street).

This coming Thursday, April 14, 2011, 1,000 people from the Richmond area will gather to press members of the Richmond City Council for commitments to create more affordable housing for the lowest-income households in Richmond.

Last fall, about 200 members of RISC’s congregations voted to make “housing and homelessness” the focus of this year’s work. In their research, they have discovered that 46% of Richmond households pay 30% or more of their income for housing; 22% pay more than half of their income for housing. According to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, no household should pay more than 30% of its income for housing.

On paper, Richmond has an “Affordable Housing Trust Fund,” which is a proven vehicle to support the creation of affordable housing. Trust funds in about 700 communities nationwide have supported the creation of tens of thousands of units of housing. On April 14th, RISC will ask Council members for clear commitments to bring the Fund to life by appointing the fund’s Oversight Board, targeting part of the fund to the neediest households, and ensuring that there is a dedicated revenue source for the fund.

RISC is a congregation-based community organization of twelve congregations in the Greater Richmond area which have come together to tackle the root causes of urgent community problems. Among its recent accomplishments, RISC has pressed VCU’s Virginia Coordinated Care Program to use its state and federal dollars more efficiently in order to ensure that more low-income uninsured persons have access to primary health care. Since RISC began its work, the number of individuals with access to primary care has jumped by more than 15,000.

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