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File #: 20-0265    Version: 1 Name: 2/18/20 - Washtenaw Housing Alliance Pledge
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 2/18/2020 In control: City Council
On agenda: 2/18/2020 Final action: 2/18/2020
Enactment date: 2/18/2020 Enactment #: R-20-058
Title: Resolution to Adopt the Washtenaw Housing Alliance's Affordable Housing Pledge
Sponsors: Julie Grand, Zachary Ackerman, Christopher Taylor, Chip Smith, Ali Ramlawi, Kathy Griswold


Resolution to Adopt the Washtenaw Housing Alliance’s Affordable Housing Pledge


Whereas, In 2015, the City of Ann Arbor partnered with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Washtenaw County to produce the Housing Affordability and Economic Equity Report (“Report”);


Whereas, The Report highlighted that housing in Ann Arbor has become unaffordable for 45% of households making $35,000-$49,999 a year, 87% of households making $20,000-$34,999, and 94% of households making under $20,000;


Whereas, Residents of Ann Arbor continue to feel the pressure from a lack of housing options with average rents increasing nearly 15% since 2015;


Whereas, The Washtenaw Housing Alliance (WHA) is a coalition of non-profit and government entities dedicated to ending homelessness in Washtenaw County;


Whereas, The WHA has been working with community members to develop the following pledge and is requesting individual community members, boards, and organizations adopt the pledge; and


Whereas, The beliefs outlined in the Washtenaw Housing Alliance’s Affordable Housing Pledge align with the goals of the Ann Arbor City Council to address the substantive need for affordable housing in our city;



1. Housing is a human right.


Housing is the foundation for health and well-being, enabling people to live with dignity, quality of life, and with basic access to opportunity.


2. There is social, environmental, and economic value in establishing mixed income, highly diverse neighborhoods with increased density in urban areas.


Diverse, racially equitable, mixed income communities are stronger, richer, and more vibrant places to live and work.


3. The market will not reliably meet the needs for accessible, safe, and affordable housing for all in our community. Government has an essential role and responsibility in the preservation, acquisition, and development of affordable housing to help build an economically diverse, racially equitable community.


Public resources should be invested in projects, and with developers, whose mission is to support affordability in perpetuity. Public assets and financial incentives to preserve and increase affordable housing should be targeted for households with incomes up to 60% of Area Median Income (AMI) for renters and up to 80% of AMI for homeowners.


4. Everyone in our community benefits when we ensure a wide variety of safe, healthy, affordable housing types at a range of price points.


There are assets, value, and cultural wealth in every part of our community. Everyone must be able to benefit from our community’s assets.


5. We must improve access to homeownership, especially among low income households, persons of color, and Indigenous Peoples.


Commonly accepted housing policy and practices have effectively segregated communities, limited/excluded economic opportunity in communities of color, while offering public subsidies to others. We seek inclusionary policies that help realize our community’s commitment to equity.


6. Renters bring distinctive, essential, social and economic value to our community. Renter voices should be valued. Tenant rights are valued and prioritized.


We must protect housing affordability and stability for tenants so that they can fully participate in the life of our community.


7. We must coordinate housing strategies with complementary strategies in the areas of physical and mental health, education, transportation, environment, and economic development to improve the overall quality of our community life.


Twenty first century community and economic development strategies must attend to relational impact of interdependent factors that affect community and individual well-being.


RESOLVED, That the Ann Arbor City Council adopts the Washtenaw Housing Alliance Pledge.


Sponsored by: Councilmembers Grand, Ackerman, Smith, Ramlawi, Griswold and Mayor Taylor