In support of a Fair Housing Ordinance

Note to City Council Members from Hannah-Marie Warfle

Thank you for supporting the use of Housing Trust Fund dollars to assist in the preservation of NOAH at Lake Mist Apartments. I hope that more of the HTF money can be used in this way so that my homeless clients will be able to move out of the shelter into an affordable apartment. However, we are going to need a few more affordable units to house all of the homeless and unstably housed individuals in Charlotte. It would help if ALL landlords and property managers would accept all types of income and consider housing applicants using their full applications not just by their response to questions regarding criminal history. Charlotte City Council could make this happen by passing a Fair Housing Ordinance. This action would send a strong message to our community: that Charlotte’s City Council stands with the Poor and Disenfranchised.

I am sure you have heard many reasons why a Fair Housing Ordinance that includes protection for those with criminal records and for those with non-traditional income sources, could be risky, legally. I acknowledge that many will be unhappy with this move and will challenge it in court. But fear of contention and legal battles cannot be the reason for inaction. If the Charlotte City Council really stands behind its most vulnerable constituents, those who most need champions to fight for them, then fear will not stand in the way.

The Pandemic has made action by our leaders more impactful and urgent, and Charlotte City Councilmembers are no exception. Taking action to pass a Fair Housing Ordinance would give hope and opportunity to thousands. Not just to the over 2,7001homeless individuals in our city, but also to the thousands of people living in hotels and the thousands of families cramming into tiny apartments, two and three at a time, just so they can afford the rent. I encourage you, Charlotte City Councilmembers, to be role models, prioritizing the most vulnerable over preserving the status quo and not rocking the boat.

Please, take action on behalf of Charlotteans in need of a fair chance to obtain a safe and decent place to live. Stand up for the Poor and Disenfranchised.