Last month, we asked our readers what issues they wanted to hear the candidates running for local office address ahead of this fall’s local elections primary. Based on the input we received, we developed a three-item questionnaire for candidates running for city council in Ward 1 in Mission.
Today we publish the candidates’ responses to item three:
What the biggest challenge facing the city of Mission today, and what should city government be doing about it?
The biggest challenge facing Mission in the coming years is housing affordability. We have the opportunity to be proactive on this issue and should take advantage by placing it at the forefront of city deliberations moving forward. Ward 1 is home to the highest population of renters in our city. Earlier this summer I spoke with a woman in her apartment who said that she loved Mission but feared getting priced out of her complex. On Council, I would start to address this complex issue by:
- Considering long-term goals when making decisions on new development. We must be wary of inadvertently pricing out portions of the population based on vague promises. Any new development proposals should prioritize the needs of all residents, including our most vulnerable populations.
- Promoting and expanding community housing improvement grants. Mission is fortunate to be able to offer grants that provide residents with neighborly assistance that can help alleviate financial burdens for needed repairs. City grants like the Mission Possible program and partnerships with local non-profits like Habitat for Humanity allow for qualifying residents to receive general home maintenance and repairs. These types of programs benefit all residents by elevating the look and feel of the whole community.
- Partnering with the Johnson County commissioners. We must work with the county to streamline initiatives and learn from best practices elsewhere in the metro area. Together with neighboring cities, we should explore programs and awareness campaigns for attainable housing.
Mission was recently named the best city to live for the middle class. I will be a voice for these working families when it comes to housing affordability and maintaining our quality of life.
Did not respond.