Current Advocacy Opportunities
Advocacy is one of our many guiding principles. As such, we affirm that direct services to the homeless will include advocacy, and that the work of the Washtenaw Housing Alliance will include changing institutional policies and practices, training of professionals, policy and legislative change, educating funders, and raising hell when necessary.
Local Advocacy Opportunities
Vote NO on City Prop A
On November 6th, City of Ann Arbor voters will be asked to vote on Proposal A. The Washtenaw Housing Alliance (WHA) Board voted at its most recent Board meeting to oppose Proposal A, and WHA encourages Ann Arbor voters to vote “NO”. WHA member agencies and allies are encouraged to share this advocacy alert with their networks.
Proposal A would amend the Ann Arbor City Charter to require that the City-owned Library Lot be designated, in perpetuity, as an Urban Park and Civic Center Commons. Since there is no support from the City for this proposal and no funding for this Park and Commons, the land would sit vacant as a surface parking lot and underground parking garage. Alternatively, the City of Ann Arbor has been working with a developer, Core Spaces, to develop the site as a hotel, apartments, retail space, and office space, and create a 12,000 square-foot public plaza that will operate with the same rules as a city park.
In selling the development rights of the Library Lot to Core Spaces, the City of Ann Arbor has agreed to put half the proceeds of the sale of the Lot, (estimated to be $5 million), into the City’s Affordable Housing Fund to create permanent affordable housing in Ann Arbor. This much-needed support for affordable housing will not be realized if Ann Arbor voters support Proposal A. Since 2014, WHA and its member agencies have actively advocated in support of the City’s vision to sell the Library Lot and use proceeds from the sale for affordable housing. The WHA Board’s Resolution, which summarizes the Board’s numerous reasons for opposing Proposal A, can be viewed online here.
To learn more about the opposition to Proposal A and support this “Vote No” effort, visit https://www.everyoneloseswithcitypropa.com/.
Other Advocacy Resources:
National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC): Advocacy Webinar Mon, Mar 20, 2017 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EDT (Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/712995188908614659)
National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH): http://cqrcengage.com/naeh/funding
Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness (MCAH): www.mihomeless.org