The March 10th IMPACT Nehemiah Action meeting was a great success! Nearly 2,000 people (1,950 people signed in) from 28 member congregations attended. All of our elected officials from Charlottesville and Albemarle County, and key healthcare providers attended and participated. Significant progress was made to address critical needs in our community.
The lack of access to dental care, both emergency and restorative, for low-income uninsured adults has reached crisis proportions in our community. There are over 1,000 people on local waiting lists for dental care in volunteer based programs. One program sees 60 people per month, another saw 20 people in the last year. UVa Hospital had over 1,700 people come to their emergency room with dental needs last year, most of whom were sent away just with antibiotics and pain medication.
Dental commitments received:
We received commitments from the Charlottesville Free Clinic to develop a plan and hire a dentist with the goal of beginning service by March ’09. The health department and CADA (Charlottesville Area Dental Access) agreed to support this plan with in-kind resources, such as space. Martha Jefferson Hospital, UVa Medical Center, and the Charlottesville/Albemarle Dental Society committed to bring appropriate resources to implement this plan.
Affordable Housing need:
IMPACT has focused on the tremendous need for affordable housing for families earning 0-30% AMI (Area Median Income), or under $20,000 per year. There is a deficit of 3,917 affordable rental units for families in our region earning under 30% AMI (Source: TJPDC “State of Housing Report”, Jan. 2007). There are over 900 people on the waiting list for public housing in Charlottesville and the Housing Choice Voucher program (section 8 rental assistance) waiting list in Charlottesville is closed. Seven hundred people applied for the Albemarle County Housing Choice Voucher program when they opened their waiting list between Nov 07 and Jan 08.
Affordable Housing commitments received:
Last year IMPACT sought and won the creation of a Charlottesville, Albemarle, UVa Task Force with the first priority to address the need for affordable housing for families earning 0-30%AMI.
This year IMPACT sought funds to enact the proposals coming out of this task force. We asked Charlottesville City councilors to budget $500,000 in FY09 to support proposals that come out of the Task Force for rental housing for the working poor in the 0-30% AMI category. We received commitments from Councilors Holly Edwards, Satyendra Huja, Julian Taliaferro and Mayor David Norris. Councilor David Brown did not commit.
IMPACT also asked Albemarle County Supervisors to budget $500,000 in FY09 to support proposals that come out of the Task Force for rental housing for the working poor in the 0-30% AMI category. We received commitments from Supervisors David Slutzky and Lindsay Dorrier. We did not get commitments from Supervisors Ken Boyd, Sally Thomas, Dennis Rooker and Ann Mallek.
These monies could be used to create more rental housing units, for rent assistance, or to preserve existing units of affordable housing. With this investment of local funds, non profit developers can leverage 4-7 times as much money in matching funds from state, federal and other sources to build or preserve affordable housing units.
Through the work of IMPACT we are excited to have so many people from all walks of life and faiths coming together to create a more just community!