Our Opinion: Affordable, safe housing is necessity

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Linton City Council recently started an important conversation: Maintaining affordable housing availability while also keeping its residents safe.

An ongoing discussion about implementing a trailer ordinance has some very important points, which would make sure landlords and homeowners are held responsible for the condition of residences.

The discussion encompassed not only mobile homes, but also shed-like buildings being used as homes. A major concern brought forth was access to electricity and other utilities.

For some people seeking affordable housing, mobile homes are often the obvious first look. Based on our own experience, the mobile homes often include multiple rooms and a rental rate lower than a house.

Based on state statistics found at www.stats.indiana.edu, it’s apparent many families are reliant on affordable housing options. In Greene County, more than 2,000 students were eligible for free school lunches in 2015 due to their family’s financial standings.

A lack of finances should not mean someone has to settle for poor living conditions in order to have a roof over their head. We’ve heard stories of rentals with running water to only half of a home, leaving the family to wash dinner dishes in the bathtub. Another instance the renter learned after moving in that their sewage was leaking into the yard, and unfortunately did not find out about the issue until a child slipped in the sewage.

Issues such as these are not minor. They affect quality of life of those who live in the dwelling, but may not have another option.

We agree someone needs to have the authority to look into concerns especially in instances where tenants have their hands tied and are unable to get through to the person in charge of maintaining the property.

There are so many great rental opportunities in Greene County with landlords dedicated to ensuring safe housing for their tenants with affordable rates. Maintaining a house is a huge responsibility, and we are aware expenses can be exorbitant. Those who maintain housing are appreciated, especially by families who are just not in the place to buy a house.