The key clause from the resolution reads: “…Monroe County joins other jurisdictions across the country in declaring housing as a human right.”
Commissioners Penny Githens and Lee Jones both voted to support of the resolution. President of the board of commissioners Julie Thomas was not able to attend the meeting to cast a vote, but Githens relayed Thomas’s support.
The resolution was put forward by the county’s affordable housing advisory commission (AHAC). At Wednesday’s meeting, Githens said, “I want to thank the affordable housing commission for their work on this. They didn’t just sit back, they kept pushing, they kept talking. They kept doing things. They’re pretty tireless.”
About the resolution, Jones said, “During this time of COVID, it’s been made so clear just how dangerous homelessness can be both for the homeless and for society.” She continued, “It is well known that the best outcomes for disadvantaged people come about when they are in stable housing.”
It arose from a lawsuit claiming that Bloomington’s ordinance—along with those of Carmel, Columbus, and Indianapolis—were unconstitutional.
The unsuccessful lawsuit was filed in 2015 by the Indiana Family Institute, Indiana Family Action, and American Family Association. The Court of Appeals concluded there was no no reason to believe that the cities’ ordinances had any effect on those companies’ activities.
The September opinion, on which all three judges concurred, states, “In sum, the companies’ own designated evidence establishes that the cities
have neither interfered with nor chilled their First Amendment rights.”