The greatest danger to our future is apathy. -Jane Goodall

It is time we replace the regressive municipal property tax system with one based on an ability to pay. The State’s education tax program, which is income sensitized, is a model we should explore for people’s primary residence and rental housing.

We need to build and maintain more mandatory affordable housing that low-income and working people can afford. This includes changing zoning laws that keep density far lower than it should be in large areas of the city. It includes looking at innovative programs like Seattle’s Measure 135 which created  a public development organization that will own, develop, and maintain social housing, public-owned apartments that are “removed from market forces and speculation” and built “with the express aim of housing people equitably and affordably … to remain affordable in perpetuity.”

We need to address the miniscule home ownership rates for Black and Brown people, both by dismantling systemic racism in government's housing policies and affirmatively providing resources in ways designed by the impacted communities.

We need the Legislature to pass and override Gov. Scott’s veto of "just cause" eviction to provide housing security for tenants following the rules. And given the housing crisis, we need to seriously consider rent stabilization like voters in Portland, Me. did in 2020 and people all over the country are passing.

We need our Permitting and Inspection Department to do a much more effective job of making landlords fix substandard units. The recent case involving Handy Properties is just one example of lax enforcement that allows landlords to avoid for far too long fixing their units while they profit from the housing shortage.

We need a much more vigorous policy and programs to provide housing and shelter with dignity for the unhoused and homeless. This includes State support for new transitional, supportive shelters appropriate to the needs of distinct groups facing homelessness. This also includes increased support for outreach and support staff.