Keeping Milford Housed - A Moving Community Gathering!

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Despite the sweltering heat, over 70 people came to Mary Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church to tell their stories and learn more about the housing crisis in Milford!

"I'm here because I have a story to tell...."
"I hope to learn more about housing in Milford..."
"I can't afford to live here anymore..."
"We have an ADU we want to rent..."
"I live at Beth El and wanted to help set up and to learn more..."
"My kids can't afford to live in Milford..."

These are just a few of the reasons people gave for attending "Keeping Our Community Housed", our All In for Milford's September Community Gathering.

They shared delicious food from Nate's Plate's, provided by TEAM. Haven's Harvest offered an array of yummy desserts.

At tables crowded to capacity, residents learned about Milford's housing shortage. Milford's Affordable Housing Plan and Milford's Plan of Conservation and Development were explained - over half the attendees had never heard of either plan.

Every table was then tasked to work together on their dreams and visions for housing. Written on large sheets of paper, these dreams, visions, concerns and suggestions were then posted on the wall and share back to the entire group. Here are just a few of the ideas shared:

"Housing Is a Human Right"
"Use empty retail and office space for housing"
"Education, transparency and accountability"
"Elect leaders who support affordable and attainable housing"

People wanted more housing. They wanted more types of housing, from prefab and tiny homes to shared housing and mixed use. They wanted housing for young people, for seniors, for the differently abled, and for people being priced out of their homes.

People suggested subsidies, tax breaks, and shortened waiting lists for housing. Other wanted changes in zoning to allow Single Room Occupancies, to allow the use of vacant and abandoned municipal properties, and they wanted the conversion of places like the mall into housing people could afford.

Before a final group photo, people were asked to write their story about housing and put it in the AIFM Housing Basket. AIFM received 14 stories, many requesting follow up.

As the group posed for a photo, everyone agreed about the importance of this issue to them, and their desire to be involved. Using the sign up list, AIFM will reach out and engage people on this most fundamental issue our community faces.

Finally, we agreed that we do not have to agree on everything in order to work together on Keeping Our Community Housed!

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