Written by Betty Abate
At the city council meeting on April 19th, members of multiple non-profit organizations came to City Hall during the city council’s public comment section to advocate for affordable housing.
Organizations that showed up are Habitats for Humanity, Neighbor to Neighbor, United Way, and Care Housing.
In three minutes per comment, individuals from each organization stepped forward and expressed the difficulties of affordable housing, especially for marginalized groups, and the importance of working to fix the affordable housing problem. Members also recognized the Fair Housing Act passed in 1968.
A member of Habitat for Humanity shared her story on how her family had trouble finding a house, which ultimately helped her realize the importance of housing.
“Once we had our habitat house, I was able to make friends, my mom would let me play outside regularly, I was able to focus on academics, we didn’t have to worry about the time being spent going from one place to another.”
The CEO of Habitat for Humanity in Fort Collins mentioned how there is a pattern in the people speaking, “We are here as a group on behalf of fair housing month.”
The executive director for Care Housing spoke on their purpose, “We are here to speak on the importance of home. That home is the foundation to a thriving, inclusive, diverse community for today and future generations.”
A mobile home owner voiced her frustrations on the amount of money needed to keep her home and afford water.
“With the rising lot rent and then the situation going on with the exuberant amount of water charges, which are not exactly justified, along with the water safety, I want to know why?”
The mayor of Fort Collins had to cut her off as she was going over the given time limit.
“In fairness to everyone else… I’m sorry we just have to hold fast after three minutes.”
Mayor Arndt then assured her that she can finish her deliberation through the city leader’s website fcgov.com and thanked her for attending.
Days later, Governor Jared Polis threatened to veto a bill that would put a cap on rising lot rent for mobile home owners.
After the speakers were done, Councilwoman Pignataro thanked all the speakers during the follow up to the public comment section.
“Especially thank you to all of our nonprofits for being here and for all you do in our community and for keeping affordable housing front (sic) of mind.”
The city recognized April as National Fair Housing Month and members of these NGOs thanked them while also asking the council to recognize that fair housing is important.