Carolina Jews for Justice Greater-Charlotte chapter is based in Mecklenburg County. We'd love to organize with you! You can contact us directly by emailing Janet Ganoung.
CJJ- Greater Charlotte helps secure two major affordable housing wins
Janet Ganoung, Chapter Chair
Over the past several months, CJJ-Greater Charlotte has continued to dig its heels into the fight for housing justice. Being ranked last out of 50 major U. S. cities in upward mobility is totally unacceptable, and we believe that the ability of children to rise out of poverty starts with stable housing, a human right.
The core of our expanding coalition includes the Stan Greenspon Center (who plays a leading role), One-MECK Affordable Housing Committee, Housing Justice Coalition and many individuals from the faith community. Our approach has been to establish a rapport with City Council members and develop relationships of trust, then educate them and present innovative policy-change solutions to homelessness and displacement.
Through our interactions, City Council has become willing to embrace new ideas rather than just re-using past tools that are obviously not working. Thanks to our efforts, there is now far more focus on providing housing for families at <30% Area Median Income (AMI), which is a mere $19,000/yr. in Charlotte for a family of 3.
Our coalition has enjoyed two major affordable housing victories since June. The first, as a result of our efforts, was when City Council voted to increase this year’s housing bond referendum from $15MM to $50MM. This proposed $50MM bond will appear on the November election ballot. In July and August, group efforts focused on promoting the most effective ways to use the bond money (assuming the voters approve it in November), as well as pushing for more community input on per-project allocation of funds.
Our second huge victory involved an amendment we proposed to a government document which was published in June, the Housing Charlotte Framework (HCF), created to dictate how bond funds will be used over the next two years. This amendment more specifically defined some of the verbiage of the HCF to solidify the commitment of the document. It would assure more housing for under 30% AMI families, would include a plan to preserve Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) that protects more low-income tenants and would provide a voice for individuals who advocate for or are directly impacted by homelessness and displacement.
On August 27, City Council unanimously voted to approve the Housing Charlotte Framework AS AMENDED! Yay team! Prior to the vote, individual Council members praised the work of our coalition, including our respectful persistence and our frequent presence in the City Council chamber. They also thanked us for educating them and keeping them accountable. One member even mentioned CJJ by name!
What we have shown through this process and our resulting successes is the immeasurable power of collaboration and the strength in numbers from those aligned with unity in purpose. CJJ-Greater Charlotte is proud to represent our statewide family of progressiveJews in effecting positive change toward greater equity. These are great first-steps. We continue onward … together.