- Category: Charrette Notes
South Central Housing Network
Region 10 Plan to End and Prevent Homelessness Charrette
Session #6, Tuesday, April 23
Housing Stability First: Affordable and Supportive Housing
Gilbertson: Homelessness population in Bloomington is not going to go away. City Government needs to be more involved. The City could provide a place to serve as a shelter.
Sideman: Need for Emergency shelter is a need. Let’s continue to focus on housing.
Steckler: The city is involved in addressing the issue of homelessness through HAND. Many citizens are not familiar with all of the things the city does to address homelessness. Still believes that it is possible for the city to do more. We need housing that is scattered all over the city. All of the city districts need to share in welcoming individuals experiencing homelessness. Housing is expensive and scarce in Bloomington. For the wages we have in Bloomington, housing is quite expensive. We must look at controllable influx of population in Bloomington. IU currently has 3,000 students more than it’s maximum capacity.
Gilmore: Some cities have required affordable housing units in new construction projects.
Irvin: Very much in favor of permanent supportive housing. Different housing options fit different people. Model that works: Recruiting people with the money to buy homes, donating it to homeless families/individuals and receive a tax credit. Case management is involved within these homes. Case workers assist in developing individual life plans.
Community member whose father was killed by train when he was 8 years old: We must come together to help people in need. If we cannot do this, then we have a problem.
Morrow: Many people agree with specialized courts. Would also like our community to think about specialized housing. As we plan for our future, we need to consider current programs that are working and sustain them. Many who are incarcerated often feel hopelessness. One thing that has been very important to her throughout the process of life were individuals who have supported her, treated her as an equal and acted as a support system. Encourages the community to become a support system and role models for those experiencing homelessness and/or poverty.
Gabriel H.: Hope that more is being done to support and include all counties.
Thompson: Works with Habitat. Piece left out of conversation: Those in need of permanent non-supportive housing. Sees a gap between homelessness and receiving Section 8. Lack of credit counseling is an obstacle to receiving housing. Credit counseling and other supportive services should be made available to the portion of our population who have the capability of succeeding. Student loans are increasingly becoming an issue.
LaFontaine: We need to be cognizant of all populations, including aging individuals. Would like to see housing for all ages and populations. Many misperceptions about mental health assistance. Centerstone has several housing units in Monroe and surrounding counties.
Pollitt: Help is available in the community to credit and banking. There is an alliance who provides this service within the community. The rise needs more volunteers for this program. There is a possibility that this community could lose 4 transitional housing programs. Need community support to continue services to safely house women and children who experience domestic violence.
Benito: Every community should be aware that there is a lot of focus on American Disabilities Act in regard to homelessness. If we fail to provide sufficient housing we are potentially violating someone’s rights. There is a way to do transitional housing that serves someone immediately and allows them to develop independence. We can partner with our housing authority to make assistance available to individuals who no longer need intensive services.
Dotson: There is a minimal representation of landlords on the South Central Housing Network. It would be beneficial to come together to discuss barriers to permanent housing. Do these barriers need to stay the same or can we discuss ways to provide additional access to housing.
Guinn: If we receive Rapid Re-housing and emergency shelter is utilized to give case management. We have a desperate need today for emergency shelter. If we can provide case management within homes can broaden our affect on families and eventually eliminate the need for emergency shelter.
Sometimes too many services can become overwhelming to those experiencing homelessness and restrict their transition into independent, permanent housing.
How many units have been built in the downtown area that are not affordable to all populations? Many homes around town are up for sale. Many people came to Bloomington because their was employment, culture amenities, etc… We should not close the “door” to Bloomington to individuals who are experiencing homelessness.
Mark (Landlord on West Side): Homeless need someplace out of the way to give them shelter.
Steckler: Students are moving into the places that they can afford. Houses for sale do not necessarily mean that we have a sufficient number of affordable housing units.
Much of the discussion has been Bloomington focus. We are developing a regional plan. We could focus more on rehabilitating homes that could also provide additional employment opportunities.
History of housing in Bloomington: Many homes built on land that belongs to a trust. Bloomington has been making an effort to assist with the issue of affordable housing over time. Are we keeping tack of affordable units appropriately?
Volan (Common Council Member, District VI): The city grew by 11,000 in the 2010 census. The growth rate is continuing to grow both through the university and the City as a whole. Bloomington has 67% rental housing. Bloomington has a 5 ½ % vacancy rate. This is the second lowest vacancy rate in the State. This confirms that we do not have enough housing in Bloomington. The university has an enormous influence on the community in regard to housing.