I often hear elected officials say, “I didn’t make the decisions that are causing our housing problems. Why should I have to fix it?” It takes me a while to contain my frustration with this mindset. No, we didn’t create the issues that plague housing in Johnson County, but we can be the solution. In order to do that we need leadership that will take the issue head on and push for change. Too often people who work in Johnson County can’t afford to live in Johnson county. The lack of affordable housing near work places and transit leaves many struggling to support their families. Renters are often forced out of their homes with little regard to their rights or well being.
To begin we need to work together, every community, to draft a Housing Bill of Rights that will guide us toward making just decisions about how we grow in Johnson County.
- We must dedicate ourselves to creating affordable housing throughout the county.
- We must break the cycle of “build and bolt” that continuously leaves neighborhoods high and dry while the builders and realtors move on to the next decommissioned corn field.
- We must use our collective strength to demand inclusionary zoning in all new developments.
- We must commit ourselves to new technologies in all new developments, including sustainability and regenerative requirements for all new buildings.
- We must mandate fair renters agreements so residents know they have protection from displacement and predatory practices.
- We must provide better transportation options throughout the county to ensure that all citizens have access to work, transit, recreation, shopping and community events.