You might think that solving affordable housing is an insurmountable task. Well, it may be to a degree. But making a dent with this big issue in the East Cooper is possible if you think – thrifty. Much of the discussion with affordable housing focuses on making housing more affordable to incomes less than the medium income of residents in Mt. Pleasant. That is Great! But what about those who are already living in a home that is unsafe or unhealthy and in dire need of repair, such as a new roof, but cannot afford it? These housing issues are just as important.
The East Cooper Faith Network (ECFN) hosted several area nonprofits and Mount Pleasant officials and committee members recently to discuss development of a ‘small plan’ to help with this issue. That is, be thrifty by making current homes that may be unsafe due to poor roofing or other issues, safe again by fixing and repairing them to a state that is livable.
These nonprofits; ECCO, East Cooper Meals on Wheels, East Cooper Habitat for Humanity, St. Vincent DePaul, Operation Home, United Methodist Church’s ET (Elderly Transportable Housing) and members of the Town of Mt. Pleasant Affordable Housing Task Force met, and with the help of David McNair of McNair and Associates (a facilitator), created a clear objective; To collectively work together to help provide safe and healthy living conditions in our community where substandard situations exist. By doing this, community members can work together to find a community solution to a community problem.
“We are so very fortunate and blessed to have the volunteer members of the East Cooper Faith Network (ECFN) in our community working collaboratively with other groups to enhance the quality of lives for members of our community that need a little extra help in repairing and maintaining a safe livable home. This is one of the many reasons that make Mt Pleasant the place that we call home and love.” – Mark Smith, Mt Pleasant Town Councilman.
Once the objective was identified, the group worked together to form some ideas for action. Those include creating a public awareness campaign, enrolling community commercial construction and developers for support to work with local nonprofits, and working with local and national representatives to work on regulatory and planning. Working together, we can find solutions to any problem and this one is not any different. By putting our hearts and our minds together, there is little we cannot achieve.
Picture: Mark Smith, Town of Mt. Pleasant Councilman