What could have been and what is

By Barbara Goodmon

The 2005 session of the North Carolina Legislature is almost over.

For me, it is a time to reflect back on the efforts of many across the state to get a bill passed that would put a dedicated source of $50 million dollars yearly into the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

One-third of all North Carolinians would have qualified for these dollars. It would have been a great investment in our state.

The bad news is that we did not get the bill passed.

If it had passed, it would have meant that every year 6,000 families would have been helped to get into affordable, safe housing; $200 million would have been leveraged in affordable housing: 3,000 jobs would have been generated; and state and local tax revenues would have been increased by over $30 million.

The good news is that we got a one-time increase of $5 million added to the Trust Fund’s yearly $3 million allocation from the Legislature.

My figures indicate that, this year, $8 million will help 960 families find safe, affordable housing;  $32 million will be leveraged; 480 jobs will be generated; and tax revenues will increase by $4.8 million.

This is a far cry from our ask, but it is a beginning.

The committee that has spent many months working on this bill is coming back together the first of September to regroup and begin working toward the next session.

As we do this, I ask that you contact your legislators and let them know that you want what could have been — $50 million every year to the N.C. Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

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