FAST lobbies for dedicated affordable housing money

June 5, 2017. Tampa Bay Newspapers.

CLEARWATER – Several members of Faith and Action for Strength Together spoke to Pinellas County Commissioners May 23 about the critical need for affordable housing.

The faith-based organization made up of 40 local church congregations, better known as FAST, has long urged the commission to spend more money to increase the county’s inventory of affordable housing. The group’s efforts have been fruitful in past years with the commission agreeing to place millions of dollars from Penny for Pinellas in an affordable housing land assembly fund. Unfortunately, not all the money pledged made it into that fund thanks to the economic downturn and budget cuts.

Sarasota County: New affordable housing rules due Sept. 1

May 23, 2017. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

SARASOTA COUNTY — Specific proposals for new rules that would encourage more affordable housing must be complete by Sept. 1, the Sarasota County Commission unanimously agreed Tuesday.

The proposals likely will focus on promoting different types of housing than the most-common single-family homes being built, relaxing sometimes burdensome rules about parking and expanding the ability for homeowners to rent available spaces, County Administrator Tom Harmer said.

Religious Communities Advocate For Change

May 8, 2017. Tristate homepage.com.

More than a thousand people packed the Old National Events Plaza to tell local officials what they want done to better the area.

Congregations Acting for Justice and Empowerment (CAJE) is an organization that works to fight for justice in the Tri-State Area.

Each year the group researches different aspects of the community that they believe need attention and host an event to tell local government leaders.

This year, they asked for more funding to the affordable housing trust fund, for more officers to be equipped with Narcan and for more programs to be in place to assist the mentally ill.

“When you have 14 hundred people asking you to do something” said CAJE Treasurer Julie Dougan “and these are people that elected you to office and might re-elect you to office they tend to listen.”

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JUMP Topeka ‘Night of Justice’ sees official commit to tackle mental health, housing and transportation issues

April 25, 2017. The Topeka Capital-Journal.

A boisterous crowd in downtown Topeka’s Grace Episcopal Cathedral gave booming cheers as Topeka and Shawnee County officials agreed to tackle mental health, affordable housing and transportation — issues affecting many disenfranchised Topekans.

Topeka Justice Unity Ministry Project, more commonly called JUMP, brought members of 20 Shawnee County churches together for a “Night of Justice,” where officials, including Mayor Larry Wolgast, agreed to explore: