Joshua Hicks Calls for Affordable Housing Funding from Unallocated Pandemic Relief Money

August 10, 20220

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 10, 2022

Proposed 2022-2023 Budget Completely Lacks Funding for Affordable Housing Crisis

JACKSONVILLE, FL – The Jacksonville City Council agenda last night included a reading of the plan to allocate $171 million in federal pandemic funding and put $73 million of those dollars in reserves. Even though the U.S. Department of Treasury announced that American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding can now be used to increase affordable housing supply, the City of Jacksonville plan doesn’t allocate any funding for affordable housing programs.

Additionally, the 2022-2023 budget proposed by Mayor Curry is completely lacking in any substantive funding for Jacksonville’s affordable housing crisis. In comparison, the City of St. Louis – with a population 1/3 of the size of Jacksonville – has previously set aside $75 million to take their affordable housing crisis head-on.

Jacksonville City Council candidate Joshua Hicks issued the following statement calling for affordable housing funding:

“It’s no secret that affordable housing is one of the gravest challenges facing our city, yet City Hall continues to refuse to invest in programs that address this crisis – even when funding is available from the federal government. It shows a shameful disregard for the well-being of families who are now broke, evicted, or homeless because our city’s supposed leaders have failed to act. Family pocketbooks are already stretched by the increased cost of living. They need relief, and they need it now.

With $73 million of American Rescue Plan funding going into reserves, I urge the City Council to instead use this funding for affordable housing programs and developments. A crisis demands action. If they choose to ignore their constituents now, they will have another opportunity to fix the mayor’s proposed 2022-2023 budget, which completely ignores the housing crisis. We can’t meet and address this challenge without real resources. Now is the time to act.”

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Joshua Hicks is a career non-profit professional running for Jacksonville City Council At-Large, Group 2 to address the city’s affordable housing crisis, make good on decades of broken infrastructure promises, help small businesses thrive, and ensure representation for every person who lives in the city.

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