Three years ago the Polk County Housing Trust Fund was introduced to the concept of Housing Equity by its Strategic Planning facilitator. It was presented most starkly in terms of choice. Where to live should be the CHOICE of a homeowner or tenant. There should be options available to them that they can afford wherever they would choose to live. The concept is deeply embedded in our Mission and Vision Statement and in our current Strategic Plan.
This year’s Affordable Housing Week Symposium will focus on affordable housing policy that seeks to address a long history of our failure to provide that choice. Years of local land use and zoning policies have excluded our poorer residents and communities of color from many locations that they would otherwise have chosen to live.
Prohibition against building housing affordable to them have left them with limited options. Prohibition of lending in certain communities (redlining) has caused certain neighborhoods to suffer from disinvestment and deterioration. Choices for location of amenities such as freeways that make adjacent neighborhoods undesirable have saddled homeowners with depreciating home values and trapped them in neighborhoods that negatively impact their health, employment and access to education – frankly in neighborhoods they would like to leave.
Understanding and accepting how past policies have created the current inequities and exploring how we move forward to address those inequities will be our theme this year. The Board and Staff of the PCHTF invite you to join us in this journey. Registration of all the week’s events is available at the link below: