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Advocate

June 2021: CALL TO ACTION - Support the Memphis Affordable Housing Trust Fund!

Please take action today by contacting the Memphis City Council and joining Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis in advocating for vital affordable housing funding!

Memphis is in need of over 30,000 quality affordable housing units, and thousands of low-income older adults in Memphis are in need of home modifications and repairs to enable them to age safely and with dignity in their own homes. Some funding from the federal government and the state is available to address these needs, but it is not nearly enough. To make up for the increased need for funding, the Memphis Affordable Housing Trust Fund (MAHTF) was established in 2019 to address the lack of adequate funding to address housing needs in our city.  The City of Memphis investing financially in affordable housing and assisting older adults to remain in their homes reduces blight, increases and stabilizes property values, promotes local homeownership, creates jobs, and improves neighborhoods.

Nashville, Louisville, and St. Louis are just a few cities that have established Housing Trust Funds and unlike Memphis, they have been in place longer and are funded in the millions of dollars. These cities have seen the benefits of investment in the Trust Funds in their cities. It’s time for Memphis to learn from the successes these cities have had and invest in our own Housing Trust Fund. 

Mayor Strickland has proposed $880,000 in his proposed budget for the Memphis Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The members of the city council need to hear from YOU about your support for affordable housing, supporting low-income older adults, and the other benefits that funding the Memphis Affordable Housing Trust Fund will have on our city.  The city council will soon be voting on the Mayor’s proposed budget, so please take action today!

Below is a list of all the email addresses to email the Memphis City Council Members. A sample letter is provided below for you to copy and paste and email to each council member. Please feel free to personalize your letter with your own thoughts and experiences.

Thank you in advance for advocating for affordable housing and the needs of low-income older adults in our city!


https://www.memphistn.gov/government/city-council/

Jford.canale@memphistn.gov, Chase.carlisle@memphistn.gov, Frank.colvettjr@memphistn.gov, Michalyn.easter-thomas@memphistn.gov, Edmund.fordsr@memphistn.gov, Cheyenne.johnson@memphistn.gov, Martavius.jones@memphistn.gov, Rhonda.logan@memphistn.gov, Worth.morgan@memphistn.gov, Patrice.robinson@memphistn.gov, Jb.smileyjr@memphistn.gov, Jamita.swearengen@memphistn.gov, Jeff.warren@memphistn.gov

Dear Councilmember,

As a Memphian who supports efforts to end the affordable housing crisis and help low-income older Memphians, I respectfully ask that you retain $880,000 in funding for the Memphis Affordable Housing Trust Fund included in Mayor Strickland’s proposed budget.

In Memphis, there is a deficit of over 30,000 quality affordable housing units and thousands of low-income older adults in need of home modifications and repairs to enable them to age safely with grace and dignity in their own homes. However, there are not enough federal or state dollars to address the need. The Memphis Affordable Housing Trust Fund (MAHTF), established in 2019, fills that gap in needed funding and investment. Investing in the housing trust not only reduces the gap but reduces blight, increases and stabilizes property values, promotes local homeownership, creates jobs, improves neighborhoods, and so very importantly, allows low-income older adults to age safely and with dignity in their own homes.

We urge you to fund the Memphis Affordable Housing Trust Fund at the $880,000 the Mayor has proposed and to fund it annually and permanently. This funding will be a start to bringing us in line with peer cities such as Louisville, KY, and St. Louis, MO who provide funding to their housing trusts in excess of $9 million and $6 million dollars, respectively. They have seen the return on investment in their cities that a robust housing trust fund can make in their communities. By funding the Memphis Affordable Housing Trust Fund this fiscal year and permanently and annually in subsequent years, Memphis can also reap the benefits of how a robustly funded trust fund can improve communities, the lives of the residents who call those communities home and our city as a whole.

Thank you for your consideration of my request to fund the Memphis Affordable Housing Trust Fund now and annually. 

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]


You can join Habitat for Humanity along with people in your community and all over the world who are advocating for additional access to decent and affordable housing.

Rules and regulations about land and building have a major effect on access to housing. In places where there are smart policies in place, there is more access to decent housing. In other places where there are uninformed policies and systems, there can be barriers that make it difficult for people to find land for construction, build the home itself or be able to afford a place to live.

Habitat for Humanity serves as a voice for people in need of decent housing by working to change laws and shape policies that affect access to housing.

Our advocacy approach is based on decades of on-the-ground experience and policy expertise. In our deep understanding of housing and its role in providing opportunities for families, we seek to reform laws in a non-confrontational, nonpartisan way. Just like building, advocating for smart policies and systems is a way to create a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Help Memphis Habitat Advocate

Memphis Habitat is currently working to develop a more robust advocacy program. If you're interested in helping us do that, please contact Sherry Rout, government relations & advocacy, at srout@memphishabitat.com. Every voice can advocate and help more families build strength, stability and independence. 

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