Updated: Jan 8, 2020
Orlando ranks at number 1 in the country for most the severe affordable housing shortage. While many efforts to solve our housing crisis are making headlines, few initiatives actually take into account the actual needs of the residents who are displaced.
By Pastor William Andrews
When I drive through the Paramore area, I am reminded of that line from Mommy Dearest, “This ain’t my first rodeo.”
In 1958, the City of Hartford Connecticut purchased 12-acres of property along its east side for the purpose of redevelopment. The community, made of mainly Italians and Blacks, would make room for office buildings, parking garages, hotels, retail shops, and an educational institution with an emphasis on technology.
Funds were provided through the Housing Act of 1949 and the Highway Act of 1956. Hartford was on the move, a move that would lead to a brighter future for its residents. There was just one problem: Where would the people go?
That question is still a problem after nearly sixty-one years. A community is changed and replaced as its residents are displaced by the powers-that-be. The concern is not that the community is against redevelopment or that there is fear of change, but rather those who are displaced have no voice in the matter at all.
Decisions are made and action is initiated under the guise of community meetings where the people are given the opportunity to express their apprehension.
We know as citizens that what is done in the dark will come to the light, especially when we are looking right at it.
The articles you will read on a weekly basis are designed to give our community and its people a voice in the decisions that are being made that impact our lives and our children’s future. The change lies within the people - not government and all its entitlement programs. It’s time to let your voices be heard.
William Andrews is the Executive Director of Mercy Drive Ministries and Pastor of Heart of Mercy Community Church.