Stable, attainable, and affordable

Thu, 03/10/2022 - 2:15pm

To the Editor,

The inspiration for Chris Warfel’s letter to the Town Council re: attainable and affordable housing was to give a voice to the 160 or so current Block Island residents that seek a stable, attainable, and affordable place to live on the island.
If you missed Alicia Martin and Chris Warfel’s community presentation and brainstorming session, it’s available on FB Live Video saved on the AAH FB Group.
Chris and Alicia put a lot of time into getting the conversation started. Their work is commendable and much appreciated.

Housing issues affect the entire community, in intricate ways.

Consensus among our leaders and forum participants was a very positive one for solving our housing issue. Quickly. Admittedly, our town government, like all governments, is constrained by its bureaucracy, meaning, the necessary changes paving new paths to housing can take not just months but years, which is why our leaders encourage the non-profits, individuals, and grass-roots organizations to mobilize — it can speed things up exponentially.
The main take-away from the forum, for any interested person, is to participate, contribute, do something towards solving this issue.
If you are wondering what you can do, the message from our community leaders was clear:
Attend town meetings. They are open, advertised, in person, Zoomed, recorded and available on the TNS YouTube Channel anytime.

Educate yourself on town ordinances. They are available on the TNS website through ClerkBase or at Town Hall.
Offer your time and expertise, do due diligence research or simply be present and listen.
Write or call your state representatives and senators. Repeatedly.
Join the AAH group to continue the conversation.

And finally, know that you have something to contribute and your voice is valuable to any community conversation.

Kelly Walsh
Block Island resident