On Tuesday, November 10th, 2020, GEO’s Solidarity and Political Action Committee (SPAC) voted to express support for City Council Resolution DC-4 (20-1417). This resolution, put forward by Ward 4 councillor Elizabeth Nelson, calls on the City of Ann Arbor to work with the University of Michigan to use “available housing units at their Ann Arbor campus … to meet the increased need for safe, emergency housing in our local community”.
We feel that this policy is incredibly important. Housing has been identified by GEO members as a top priority. Ann Arbor is not affordable on our current salary, let alone for those making minimum wage in Michigan. We believe that everyone should be entitled to a roof over their heads, especially in the cold of winter. This policy, which would have the university open up vacant dorms for emergency housing, could be a matter of life and death for some in our community. This is particularly important given that we are facing down a deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will undoubtedly disproportionately affect the most vulnerable among us. We call on the university, President Schlissel, and the Board of Regents to work with City Council to make this policy a reality.