Washtenaw County home owners are seeing a rise in their property values for the first time in five years. Values are rising all across the county and properties are spending less time on the market before selling. Catherine McClary is Washtenaw County's Treasurer. She says the rising values is good news overall, but the county still faces challenges, especially when it comes to making sure there is enough affordable housing. McClary says the area's homeless are often families.
Supporters of Pizza in the Park say an ordinance change Ann Arbor City Council will consider Monday is important in keeping the event going year round.
The City Council will consider second reading of the amendment that will waive the rental fee at all parks for events that are primarily designed for the charitable distribution of goods for basic human needs.
Seth Best is with Camp Take Notice and a volunteer with Vineyard Church. Best says the amendment is needed because they can't always hold Pizza in the Park at Liberty Plaza where council has already waived the fee.
Best says as a former homeless person, Pizza in the Park is an important chance for homeless people to see a smiling face and meet kind people. He says the Pizza in the Park volunteers work to clean up after the event and often leave Liberty Plaza cleaner than they find it.
WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor City Council considering final approval of an ordinance amendment to waive park rental fees for events that are primarily designed to share goods to meet basic human needs.
The Washtenaw Housing Alliance was awarded special recognition by the Michigan Social Security Disability Outreach, Access, and Recovery, or SOAR, State Planning Group last week for its efforts to fight homelessness.
The SOAR program is a streamlined process aimed at getting eligible adults suffering from homelessness and mental illness or substance abuse access to disability income benefit programs much quicker than they otherwise could.
Julie Steiner is the Executive Director of the Washtenaw Housing Alliance. She says Homelessness in Washtenaw County is a growing problem:
Washtenaw County agencies have received just over $4 million in federal funds for programs battling the problem of homelessness. The second round of grants from the U-S Department of Housing and Urban development was announced Thursday. Hear more from WEMU's Andrew Cluley.
Washtenaw County's point-in-time homeless count saw a jump of 123 additional people without shelter this year compared to the count day in 2011. County officials fear the problem of homelessness may continue to grow. Hear more from WEMU's Andrew Cluley.