Dismantling the Divide: St. Louis County needs an Affordable Housing Trust Fund

By on May 8, 2018

From The St. Louis American:  What could be more important than investing in home?

The power of “home” can’t be overstated. The home in which we live, and the community where we grow up, drive the trajectory our lives. If we recognize this to be true for ourselves, how can we not recognize it to be true for all? How can this region, our collective home, succeed if we allow pockets of it to fail?

Sub-standard low-income housing and what it represents continues to be a part of the St. Louis County landscape — and when housing struggles, so do families, communities, and our region. Even though St. Louis County is the jobs base for our region, no significant investment has been made in affordable housing in years.

As the recent, exhaustive study “Segregation in St. Louis: Dismantling the Divide” points out, this lack of investment has taken a significant toll on our region, particularly in North St. Louis County and parts of South County. The report was produced by ArchCity Defenders, Ascend STL, Empower Missouri, the Equal Housing and Opportunity Council of Metropolitan St. Louis (EHOC), For the Sake of All, Invest STL and Team TIF. They noted that over the course of decades, homes and apartment complexes have deteriorated. They require expensive upkeep that homeowners and landlords are hesitant or simply unable to make.

At Beyond Housing, we deal with these issues every day within the 24:1 footprint, which comprises the 24 municipalities in the Normandy school district. We’ve seen the many challenges homeowners, tenants and landlords face in keeping the quality of the housing stock as strong and viable as possible, and the lack of available tools and resources to help.

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