Guest column: Public statement concerning the Nov. 7 election results

To the editor:

Although I am disappointed in the Nov. 7 election results, I accept them and understand the controversy. Ballot measures can, at times, have the benefit of helping elected officials feel the pulse of the people we represent. The results will not stop progress in our town.

The Tusayan Town Council will continue in our quest to improve the quality of life for everyone in our community. We will refocus our efforts in areas that we, as a community, can agree on. Our goal is to help businesses prosper and improve the sense of security for current and future residents and visitors.

It has been seven years since the town incorporated on the promise of affordable housing opportunities and yet today, due to opposition from other agencies, we still have an entire community that lives in company property that we refer to as housing.

Unfortunately, dormitory-style housing is the norm and opportunities for families to live in Tusayan are rare. After more than half a century, our community still lives with the underlying threat that losing your job means that you lose your home.

These are some of the realities of Tusayan that must change. We hope our efforts to work cooperatively with these agencies will overcome opposition and expedite the development of affordable housing.

Although many in our community may have lost a measure of faith and don’t believe it, we are on the verge of success. We are pushing the Ten X housing forward, even though there is still opposition from other parties.

Just this year, we acquired another 20 acres of land (Ten X) upon which we will build homes for our residents. We created the Housing Authority for the Town of Tusayan, whose primary function is to protect these homes so they are purchased only by people who live and work in our community. The Housing Authority guidelines ensure that homes will be affordable now and remain affordable for future generations.

In our current town budget, we dedicated millions of dollars to make affordable homes in Tusayan a reality. Just this month, we finalized the creation of a non-profit housing foundation that has commitments to receive a half-million dollars in donations. The housing foundation will use these funds to help our residents with down payments and closing costs so that even low-income families can afford to purchase a home.

As we continue to pursue new ways to overcome the challenges which are continually thrown in our way, we remain dedicated to the basic right that all residents should have a home they can call their own.

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