Affordable Housing for Low Income Families

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Affordable Housing for Low Income Families For those of us with warm roofs over our heads and groceries on the table the problem of affordable housing does not often surface. But for low-income families, where half the income can disappear simply trying to keep the family sheltered in an acceptable home, the problem is a daily one. President of the BRIDGE Housing Corporation Donald Terner and columnist Brad Terner argue that affordable housing is a problem that should involve everyone. From your local supermarket clerk to your child’s science teacher, the problem of affordable housing can affect us all. Terner presents the beginning of a solution to the affordable housing problem in his article Affordable Housing: An Impossible Dream? in The Commonwealth, published June 1994. His company founded from an anonymous $600,000 donation is a non-profit organization that builds quality, affordable housing for low-income families. Its effects, however, are limited. One project just opened in San Francisco with 3,000 applicants and 108 acceptances, which can be looked at as pretty dismal statistics. “This is just a drop in the bucket,” writes Terner, ‘the real question is how to expand and replicate.” (Terner, p. 392) It is this expansion that the bulk of the article argues for. Terner values a fair chance for all citizens at the “American Dream” and this chance involves the whole community. Terner mentions the “NIMBY” syndrome, or Not-In-My-Back-Yard Syndrome, where communities support the concept of affordable housing, but none that are to be built in their community. Ideally one could turn to the government for help with problems such as housing, but National, State, and local governments have proven themselves to be ... ... middle of paper ... ... motivating individuals to help and not ignore the problem within their own communities. Terner’s response to questions from the floor encourage support for his company by explaining what it is they can do, and what they cannot. For example, when confronted with the very small percentage of people whom BRIDGE actually makes a difference for, Terner explains that the risk involved in investing in his type of company, and why they don’t have all the funds needed for such a large venture. What Terner’s company does have is support, and that’s all he is asking for. The affordable housing problem can affect us all through the economy and the general spirit of the American citizen. Both Terner and Inman point of that affordable housing affects us all. They argue that the solution stems from concern. Anyone who cares about the futture of America will show concern.

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