By Eileen Zaffiro-Kean, Daytona Beach News-Journal

As they have the past few years, members of the FAITH group will again focus on affordable housing at their annual action assembly Monday night.

FAITH has been trying to convince local elected officials to create affordable housing trust funds and impose linkage fees on residential and commercial development to create a revenue source for the construction of low-cost housing.

The yearly spring event will also include discussion of flood mitigation, and urging local governments to reduce the impact land development has on the environment. FAITH members will also celebrate progress in the Volusia County school system’s restorative practices.

Local elected officials have been invited to the assembly so FAITH members can ask them to publicly commit to helping on the key issues highlighted at the event. FAITH leaders say those who plan to attend so far include Volusia County Chair Jeff Brower, Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry, Daytona Beach City Commissioner Ken Strickland and Daytona Beach City Commissioner Paula Reed.

The assembly will begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday, and will be held at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church, located at 4675 S. Clyde Morris Blvd. in Port Orange.

The event, which is open to the public, usually lasts a few hours. More than 1,300 people are expected to attend, the bulk of whom will be clergy and members of FAITH’s 30 Volusia County congregations.

What the FAITH group is all about
FAITH was founded in 2000 by a group of local clergy members so congregations could join together to address community problems. FAITH has focused on confronting what it believes to be systemic injustice by using the power of organized people to hold local decision makers accountable for fair and just policies.

FAITH is a nonprofit organization comprised of 30 theologically and racially diverse religious congregations in Volusia County. The 24-year-old organization zeroes in on what it considers to be the most pressing community problems, and then persistently urges local elected officials to take action that will remedy those problems.

FAITH was a key player in getting Daytona Beach’s First Step Shelter for homeless adults built, and has also been involved in youth criminal justice issues. FAITH was involved in the creation of a health clinic for the uninsured in Daytona Beach, the expansion of VOTRAN bus service to late shift workers, and the establishment of a substance abuse treatment program in the Volusia County Jail.

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