It Starts With a Plan
By Matthew Whittle
Every Habitat project and every new home begins with a plan. Planning for affordable housing and equitable community development should be no different. Pictured are volunteers from Jackson & Sons as they stand up a wall on 710 N. Alabama Ave. in late October.
Last month I wrote about Habitat for Humanity’s Cost of Home program and its focus on several specific efforts to help make the cost of home affordable for everyone. And at least some of those are topics that I hope to explore a little more in depth here because I think they’re worth talking about and thinking about and working on.
After all, it’s hard to argue with the goal that the cost of a safe, stable, secure and decent home should be something that everyone can afford.
But while this Cost of Home campaign lays out a few ideas or strategies for how that goal could one day be accomplished, translating those into action on the local level has to go beyond somewhat generalized statements. There has to be a plan in place for how strategies are to be utilized and implemented and for how goals are to be met.
Unfortunately, that’s where we in Goldsboro and Wayne County are falling a little short right now.
There are plans that say affordable housing is a goal, and there are comprehensive land use plans that talk about zooming and such regulations. But there are none that really focus on how to create more affordable housing and equitable community development, which means essentially ensuring that the resources necessary for quality of life and equal opportunities – transportation, grocery stores, schools, etc – are all taken into consideration when building affordable housing.
And so right now this is the first goal WAYne Forward anti-poverty coalition, of which Habitat is a member – to see the Goldsboro City Council take up this issue and direct one of its commissions to begin work on such a plan. We think the benefits to the community will be immense.