Group pushes for more Tampa Bay affordable housing

March 19, 2018. ABC Action News.

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Monday night, 3,000 people plan to pack Tropicana Field to make their voices heard. The organization, FAST (Faith and Action for Strength Together) is drawing attention to the need for more affordable housing in Pinellas County.

1,600 people are on a waiting list for affordable housing in Pinellas County and the problem is multiplying as rent continues to rise across Tampa Bay.

Janice Olson is constantly worried. She’s just one lot rent raise away from becoming homeless.

Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz pledges support for social justice group’s homeless-family initiative

March 14, 2018. The Lakeland Ledger.

LAKELAND – Fourteen hundred church congregants cheered when Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz said he would meet their demands to develop housing for homeless children and families in Polk County.

Mutz was the only government official who attended the Polk Ecumenical Action Council for Empowerment’s 18th annual event Monday night. The social justice group was seeking commitments from eight officials on three goals: housing for homeless children, funding for two mental health teams to serve seriously ill children and adults, and continued diversion of children from the court system.

The Nehemiah Action night was held at Resurrection Catholic Church and involved members of 18 churches from Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow and Lake Wales.

CAJM Moving Past Its Successes Onto Affordable Housing In 2018

February 16, 2018. The Charleston Chronicle. 

Charleston Area Justice Ministry President Rev. Charles Heyward thinks the network of faith-based congregations ended 2017 on a high note, though there were some disappointments. Currently some 28 congregations are members of the organization formed in 2011 to address social justice issues. Its first initiative in 2012 was to address Schools/Education and Crime/Violence.  Each year since CAJM successfully has challenged issues that include wage inequity and police bias. Last November members voted to address affordable housing and gentrification in 2018.

Charleston Area Justice Ministry selects housing as its issue for 2018

November 13, 2017. The Post and Courier.

Members of the Charleston Area Justice Ministry voted Monday night to select housing as its community-wide issue to tackle next year.

Votes were cast during the interfaith Justice Ministry’s annual Community Problems Assembly at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in West Ashley. Fifty-nine percent of 576 members chose housing out of three categories that included health care and transportation.

Formed in 2011, the interfaith Justice Ministry is an alliance of 27 Charleston area congregations and organizations that identifies social justice problems and proposes solutions. The Justice Ministry confronts public officials about policy proposals at the annual Nehemiah Action Assembly. 

Lawrence sales tax questions pass overwhelmingly

November 7, 2017. Lawrence Journal-World.

Lawrence voters approved all three of the sales tax questions in Tuesday’s general election, lining up millions of dollars in revenue annually for transit, infrastructure and affordable housing.

All three of the sales tax questions — totaling 0.55 percent and projected to generate $116 million over a 10-year period — were approved with comfortable margins, winning about 70, 73 and 62 percent of the vote.

Mayor Leslie Soden said the election results were important positive feedback from voters.