Letter to the editor: Don’t forget the disabled on Oct. 2

Bruce Teague speaks during a forum at The Mill. Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. — photo by Zak Neumann

By Mary Gravitt

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, vote Bruce Teague for Iowa City Council. With Bruce, you will get the first member of the Iowa City Council devoted to helping the disabled. We are all disabled visibly or invisibly, or will become so eventually in our lifetime due to aging. And we all need/want affordable and accessible housing.

Iowa City has the highest rental costs in the state of Iowa, due mainly to the University of Iowa student population. However, students, especially the growing population of non-traditional students, have the same rental problems as the non-student population: lack of affordable and suitable housing.

Bruce’s specialty is affordable housing for the disabled and the able-bodied. There is no shortage of housing in Iowa City, just a shortage of affordable abodes. There is plenty of $1,000-1,500 per month housing units available, but the average person with a lawful wage of $7.25 an hour working full-time with children at home cannot afford to pay this rent. This is one of the main reasons for homelessness, or substandard housing.

Bruce on city council will ensure that the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals inspect Iowa City institutions/group-home facilities that house the severely disabled (wheelchair-bound and emotionally undeveloped) for roach infestations (a personal observation) in a timely manner.

As a councilperson, Bruce can use his votes to see that builders wishing to build multi-story buildings (skyscrapers) in Iowa City reserve at least the equivalent of one floor for affordable apartments, including those that meet ADA specifications. Small buildings can be dealt with in a similar manner, but on a lesser scale. This is an action I hope will be reinforced by the Iowa City Planning and Zoning Commission.

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