The Coalition responds to INDY Week

I have always relied on The Indy for election endorsements but this year your paper got it wrong when you encouraged voters to vote NO for the affordable housing bond in Orange County. A NO vote on this bond will hurt working families, it will hurt police officers and teachers and Town employees, and it will hurt people experiencing homelessness. We ask you to print a retraction to change your endorsement to YES on the affordable housing bond.

The Indy states that there is no plan for how to spend the $5M in bond funds – this is flat out wrong.  Both the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro have affordable housing plans. Orange County is hip-deep in the process to approve their 5-year strategic plan for affordable housing. I chair the Orange County Affordable Housing Coalition, a group of all the Orange County non-profit affordable housing providers plus Town and County staff. Working collaboratively, this group has definitely demonstrated how to produce 1,000 units of affordable housing in five years –  these are real  projects that can’t move forward without the funding that the affordable housing bond will provide.  We aren’t sure where you got your information from, but it definitely wasn’t by asking the folks who work day-in and day-out in affordable housing.

The harm that has been done by your ill-informed endorsement may be irreversible unless you can retract it now.  Members of the Coalition have offered to meet with Mr. Billman and share the plans we have in place, so he can see for himself that the reason given for the non-endorsement of the housing bond is based on bad information.

If The Indy fails to reverse its non-endorsement of the housing bond, you will have set back efforts to create the inclusive, caring community we are working to build in Orange County.  Do the right thing –  change your endorsement to a YES for the affordable housing bond.

Susan Levy, Chair

Orange County Affordable Housing Coalition

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