There’s been much talk of late about North Carolina’s policy environment starting to resemble Mississippi’s. Now, there’s word that we may soon be falling behind Alabama too. Consider the following:
This years marks the 25th anniversary of North Carolina’s award-winning Housing Trust Fund program. Despite a history of inadequate funding that comes in well-below what many other states spend, this program (which is run by the N.C. Housing Finance Agency) has done a remarkable job of putting essentially all of the dollars appropriated to it into brick and mortar that provides safe, decent and affordable housing for very low-income people — many of them seniors and people with disabilities.
Recentl,y to its credit and probably with some inspiration from North Carolina, the state of Alabama established its own Housing Trust Fund for the first time. Good for them.
Here’s the kicker though: At the same time that Alabama was establishing its Housing Trust Fund, the North Carolina Senate was voting to zero out the entire state appropriation to the Trust Fund here.
Though lawmakers would have the Finance Agency rob another essential program to make up the difference, it’s hard not to be struck by this obvious fact: In yet another important area, North Carolina is falling behind and Alabama — Alabama!! — is passing us by.