On October 11th you'll have the opportunity to vote for or against Raleigh's transportation and housing bonds. Together the bonds would cost taxpayers an average of $17 a year and are designed to make the community more environmentally and socially sustainable.
First, the transportation bond focuses on making Raleigh more pedestrian and bicycle friendly by building sidewalks (which homeowners currently have to pay for) and greenways. If the bond gets approved by Raleigh voters, it will also improve public transit by building more bus shelters and improving the Moore Square bus station downtown, as well as providing $3 million for converting the Dillon Supply building in the warehouse district into a rail station. This transportation bond is unique in that it is not about building more roads, but fixing existing ones. And it’s actually Raleigh’s first multi-modal transportation bond – meaning it goes beyond cars. This $40 million bond will cost you about $12 per year.
Second, the housing bond helps those living in poverty to buy their first home. Funds can also be used to fix up homes in disrepair in degraded neighborhoods, which will make these communities safer and more attractive places to live. Many people suffered tragic property loss from April’s tornado, and the housing bond would help those homeowners fill in the gaps where other assistance fell short. Affordable housing programs are very successful, meaning the difference between a home and homelessness for many. Surely, we can spare a few dollars to help out. The $16 million affordable housing bond will cost you just $5 per year.
Yes, the economy is hurting, but these small bonds will make our Raleigh community stronger, more walkable, greener, and safer, at a time when there is much less public money to help out.
Don’t forget to vote in Raleigh’s municipal elections Tuesday, October 11. You can find more information about Raleigh’s transportation and housing bonds at www.raleighbonds.com.