By Sammy R. Alzofon, Affordable Housing Issue Group
Fresh from the League of Women Voters State Convention victory: housing trust funds are now an official issue for 2019/2020, we traveled south to attend Broward County’s League of Women Voters Affordable Housing Forum on June 22nd. We learned a lot from a panel of experts: Broward County Commissioner Nan Rich; Broward Housing Council Chair, Marcia Barry Smith; Pinnacle Development Regional VP, Timothy Wheat; and AARP Livable Communities, Ken Reinhardt. The forum was not about what is needed in South Florida – we all know we’re in crisis – it was what to do about it!
What You Can Do
- Vote for people who put Affordable Housing at the top of their priority list. Make Affordable Housing an election issue in 2020. Contact your state representative and state senator. Ask what they can do to legislate changes for more affordable housing. Be sure that your elected official will pledge to stop sweeping hundreds of millions of dollars from the State’s Affordable Housing Funds (the Sadowski Fund) into general revenue in 2020 and that they will also work to bring the funds paid by Palm Beach County taxpayers back to Palm Beach County.
- Get in touch with elected officials in your city to find out what affordable housing solutions they are working on.
- Attend your city council meetings. Find out about affordable housing in your city. Is there enough? What is being done to address the need – rezoning/land use changes? Understand the zoning issues in your city and what can be changed to alleviate affordable housing problems.
- Join an advocacy organization, like the League of Women Voters/Affordable Housing Issue Group.
- Talk to your neighbors. Spread the word on social media. Start a conversation about the importance of ordinary citizens speaking up to pressure leaders to work toward solutions for solving the affordable housing crisis.
- Mark your calendar! There will be a breakfast and housing forum on October 30th here in Palm Beach County. Watch for details.
Kind permission to reproduce this edited how-to comes from Katy Syed, Broward County League of Women Voters chapter president. Their forum can be viewed here: