Environmental, Climate Groups Endorse Ann Arbor Proposal C for Affordable Housing

Six leading environmental and climate organizations today announced their endorsement of Ann Arbor Proposal C, the ballot proposal to fund affordable housing.

“If the Ann Arbor community is serious about fighting the climate crisis, we’ve got to address the housing crisis that prevents working people from living here and forces them into long commutes,” said Michael Garfield, Executive Director of the Ecology Center.  “Transportation is one of the region’s largest sources of carbon emissions.”

According to US Census Bureau data, prior to the pandemic, more than 83,000 people commute into and out of Ann Arbor every day.

“Affordable housing will not only begin to lessen the massive economic segregation we see in Ann Arbor, but it is key to reducing our environmental impact, as 22% of carbon emissions in Ann Arbor come from commuting,” said Elijah Hatcher-Kay, Political Co-Lead for the Sunrise Movement’s Ann Arbor hub. “Sunrise Ann Arbor is proud to endorse this proposal, which will begin the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing in our community.”

Proposal C would generate funds to develop more than 1,500 units of housing for people earning less than 60% of the community’s average median income, marking the most significant expansion of affordable housing in the region in over 40 years.

“The Movement for Black Lives and other activists have highlighted the racist history of housing policies that excluded Black community members from home ownership opportunities throughout the United States, and in our community,” said Eleanore Ablan-Owen, Co-Director of the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice.  “If we truly want justice, we need to end our systems that have perpetuated generations of racial and economic segregation.  We need to make it possible for all to live in Ann Arbor, regardless of income or generational wealth and privilege.” 

A 2012 study by the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto found that the Ann Arbor area was the eighth most racially segregated metropolitan area in the United States. 

“Land use, housing patterns, and transportation systems are critical components of achieving carbon neutrality", said Kris Olsson of Washtenaw Climate Reality. "Communities that allow people to live where they work, learn and play are the healthiest for people and the planet,"

Earlier this year, the City of Ann Arbor adopted the A2 Zero carbon neutrality plan, which calls for dozens of actions to eliminate the community’s net carbon emissions by 2030.

“The Ann Arbor 2030 District is a private-public partnership formed to offer building owners, property managers and developers the tools to achieve reduced energy, water and transportation (CO2) emissions,” said Jan Culbertson, Leadership Council Chair, of the Ann Arbor 2030 District.  “It’s clear to us that increasing the supply of affordable housing will significantly advance our goals, and we therefore support Ann Arbor Proposal C.”

“The Sierra Club has always advocated affordable housing in areas that have access to jobs, transit, shopping, walking and biking,” said Dan Ezekiel, Chair of the Huron Valley Group (HVG) of the Sierra Club.  “The HVG strongly endorses Proposal C.”

The six organizations collectively represent over 10,000 individuals and businesses in the Ann Arbor community.  The following organizations have endorsed Ann Arbor Proposal C:

Ann Arbor 2030 District
Ecology Center
Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice
Sierra Club, Huron Valley Group
Sunrise Ann Arbor
Washtenaw Climate Reality

Published on October 27, 2020