Community members discuss ways to foster inclusive housing
COLUMBIA – Community members gathered Thursday to discuss tactics on fostering equitable and inclusive neighborhoods in Columbia at an event held at City Hall.
“The event tonight is really an event where the community is gonna come together and learn about ways that we can talk about how we build upon all the great work we’ve been doing in terms of creating more equitable and inclusive communities,” Columbia Housing Manager Randy Cole said.
The event was held in city council chambers and was open to the public with 104 community members RSVPing in advance.
“We have been analyzing data, deliberating and we're going to bring forward a series of recommendations to council for addressing issues of social equity and inclusion as it relates to affordable housing and community development,” Ward 2 Council Member Mike Trapp said.
Cole said many Columbia families live in housing or neighborhoods that negatively affect their health and other life outcomes.
The keynote speaker, Dr. Tiffany Manuel, has worked to expand opportunities for low-income workers, families and communities for over 25 years.
“This is not about how we figure out tax credit deals, and how we figure out everything...this is about love. What I’m trying to figure out how to do is how we figure out how to help folks live in a community is which they belong and in which they're loved,” Manuel said.
Following Manuel’s remarks, the meeting broke into groups to discuss solutions for various issues in affordable housing as a community.
Columbia’s Housing Programs Division oversees the implementation of federal funds that go to a variety of infrastructure and economic development needs for middle to lower income households and neighborhoods.