United Interfaith Action, a faith-based organization committed to tackling social issues in Southeastern Massachusetts, is continuing to push for more affordable housing in New Bedford.

The high cost of housing and record-high rents are resulting in even moderate-income individuals and families struggling to find a place to live.

The UIA is holding a Community Action Meeting on Tuesday, May 17, at 6:30 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church on Eighth Street in Downtown New Bedford to discuss the housing issue and related topics.

Invited to the session with be local and state politicians.

"I would like to see a commitment to making sure that housing is a top priority in this city," said the UIA's Renee Ledbetter. Ledbetter and Andrea Sheppard Lomba, joined me this week on Townsquare Sunday. 

Ledbetter believes the lack of affordable housing is leading to other social issues like crime and homelessness, two areas where New Bedford has seen more than its share of issues.

Lomba said UIA is looking for Mayor Jon Mitchell to commit $10 million solely for housing, and she believes there's an opportunity for the state to chip in with funding to create more housing in communities like New Bedford.

"I believe Massachusetts has received $5 billion in ARPA funding from the federal government, and from that $5 billion, the state has already allocated $1 billion for housing in the Commonwealth," she said.

Both are hoping that the community and city government can work together to make sure that housing is a top priority, and that public officials will lead that charge.

The complete Townsquare Sunday interview with Andrea Sheppard Lomba and Renee Ledbetter can be heard here:

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly public affairs program heard every Sunday morning at 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. on 1420 AM and 99.5 FM. The program highlights individuals and organizations seeking to make the SouthCoast a better place to live and work.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please e-mail the host at jim.phillips@townsquaremedia.com.

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