On Friday, The St. Louis American reached out to both candidates for 8th Ward alderman in the special election on Tuesday, February 13 to ask them the same questions, requesting answers by Monday morning. Democratic nominee Paul Fehler did not respond. Annie Rice, the Independent candidate, answered as follows.
The St. Louis American: The Affordable Housing Trust Fund is supposed to receive $5 million every year from the local use tax revenue, but it has been underfunded since 2011. With the passage of Prop 1, the use tax revenue has increased by about $4 million annually. Affordable housing advocates are calling aldermen to allocate this money into the trust fund – for a total of at least $7 million. Will you advocate for and use your vote to make sure that at least $7 million of the local tax revenue goes to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund?
Annie Rice: The city must fully, legally fund the Affordable Housing Trust fund, and my understanding is that $7 million would recoup the city’s underfunding the legal minimum for the past few years. At a time when our city is in deep financial crisis, we need to be mindful of the expenditures we undertake. But affordable housing is an absolutely necessary investment for this city, and I am committed to advocating and voting