An immediate way to help families in Alabama who need good homes!
Sitting at your desk you could easily make a huge impact. Making one phone call, drafting a quick note, or shooting out a targeted email could be the singular difference in whether or not a person like Ms. Maddox, who lives on Social Security averaging $800/month, can have an access for making vital repairs; repairs that exceed six months of her total income. It is the difference in whether or not her plumbing is repaired saving her hundreds of dollars of wasted water and damaged flooring.
So what is the problem? Up for debate is a line of funding for the Alabama Housing Trust Fund voted into law in 2012. This trust would create a steady stream of funding within our state that could help low-income families make vital repairs, have pathways for home ownership, and create lease/rent payments within their means. In Alabama, although our costs are relatively low compared to the rest of the nation, it still requires a person to earn $13.13/hour to afford a modest, 2 Bedroom, 1 bath home or apartment at fair market value. This is many times out of reach for a single parent mom earning minimum wage or requires her to work one full time job and another part time job. It is out of reach for an elderly person on Social Security. It creates scenarios for families to have to dedicate more than 40%-50% of their income on housing leaving little room for other necessities such as adequate nutrition, reliable transportation to get to a job, and needed medicine.
What is the solution? One is putting funding into the housing trust fund. Tied to the closing costs in buying a home or refinancing a home, it would provide a stream to the state, counties, and local municipalities for creating sustainable housing pathways for our low income families who many times work hard but the costs are not sustainable or manageable to their earnings. The current cost in the licensing/titling fee is .15 for every hundred borrowed. Doubling this amount to .30 for every hundred borrowed would put several million into the fund with a sustainable source of aid with little to no effect on home ownership rates. It is not a tax levied on every individual but a way for those purchasing homes to basically tithe a portion of that to be used to help others also achieve housing stability. It is a win/win.
What can YOU do? First, I have included some documents for more background and research. We believe in making informed decisions with heart, but not only emotional decisions without any facts or background. Second, I have listed the committee reviewing HB 141 so that you can contact them if you would like to support this bill. Time is of the essence as this bill is due to come up for public hearing very soon.
As I close, I think of the 31 families currently on our list to serve with housing. I think of the many veterans I am working with (73 to be exact) who are seeking adequate and affordable housing. As I look at Jordan Hare stadium, I am reminded that Alabama is short 90,000 units of housing-almost the capacity of our stadium on game day. And what I know is a simple and viable way for our state to engage and make a difference. Finally, I recall Paul’s words, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12. I believe our public leaders are in position to do great things that benefit all of our population. I hope they have the best of interest of all of Alabama in their hearts and minds. And I believe that our prayers and kingdom works are to heal and redeem systems as much as it is for individual people. As you feel led, we pray you might consider using a few minutes to make a massive impact. Make the call, pen the note, draft the email and be the difference!
Grace and Peace,
Local News Links for Alabama Housing Trust Fund:
The House Financial Services Committee: