Renters need to make choices as part of their housing equity ambitions, according to guest opinion

Renters need to make choices as part of their housing equity ambitions, according to guest opinion ...

This is a view column.

As Alabama continues to recover from the economic hardships that resulted in this unprecedented and seemingly endless epidemic, our leaders must strive tirelessly to strengthen our economy, but also to continue to bolster everyones knowledge and understanding. COVID-19 has dramatically altered our entire life cycle, affecting everyone, regardless of race, gender, or conviction. This is because by two years, Black Alabamians have suffered the most with, and even. This must happen right now, and the first step is dramatically rethinking our housing strategy.

Thousands of Alabama residents face the danger of unemployment. Thousands of children might be put on the streets. This is especially true for our communities of color, which are facing eviction at a rate nearly double that of their white neighbors. And the disparities don't only end there. Across Alabama, they are facing economic hardship and housing problems, with little effort to overcome these seemingly overwhelming adversities. One simple area where we can begin by raising the cash security deposit.

Traditionally, the way we rent apartments is simple and well-known: find a place, get approved, and pay exorbitant upfront amounts just to move in. This means that tens of thousands of Alabamians can equitably pay for their security deposit, according to a study. Each year, the Federal Reserve said that it has approved a security deposit that would allow for renting. This is because it means that the working family may, in turn, pay less for their security deposits, and use greater healthcare.

In 2022, accessing affordable, safe housing has never been more challenging. While Alabama, the existing units are often plagued by and. It is time to challenge Alabama's rentability process, which requires renters to have the option to purchase an affordable insurance policy, which costs no more than a few dollars a month. This would allow renters to have increased mobility, access to better employment, and access to better schools for their children, all while having more money to make the economy competitive.

For people who are interested in housing security, there are only two reasons: renters, landlords, and corporations across the United States. More opportunities mean more equity, which means our economy will be stronger. Across America, policymakers and housing are adopting similar approaches, recognizing that benefits extend beyond the ability for a family to move from one apartment to another.

We must act quickly in order to combat the injustices we encounter across this state and this country. While Renter's Choice is not the end, it is a journey that we can begin on almost immediately. It's a beginning that we can as members of this community develop. It's time to roll our sleeves up and do this.

Steven L. Reed serves as Montgomery County's mayor, while Jeremy Gray serves as the House of Representatives' representative for District 83.

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