Letters: On school funding, rent hikes
Private schools drain public education
Are our schools providing an equal education to all children? When specifically referring to children who live in poverty, no, they are not.
In addition to public schools, options such as private and charter schools are available as well as home-schooling. This was done to make different opportunities available for families of all economic levels. Unfortunately, for various reasons, they are not always accessible for low-income families (an example is due to lack of access to reliable transportation allowing them to get their children to the other choices).
Public school districts lose funding when money is taken from them and provided instead to these other entities. This drain on public education leads to lack of special education services, adequate/safe facilities, current textbooks, appropriate technology, and — most importantly — highly qualified teachers.
Education services should be available to everyone. All funding allocated for education should stay in public education. Let’s make public schools great again.
Marie A. Warren, Port Huron
Protect the vulnerable from rent hikes
We all deserve affordable homes here in Michigan. But this right is being threatened by private investment firms such as Havenpark Capital. Havenpark buys manufactured home communities and has acquired at least 10 in Michigan. Residents in these communities often own their homes but rent the land, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation. Havenpark has raised lot rent in its communities 25-50% in a year, forcing many senior citizens and disabled residents out.
Bellwether Enterprise, a lender backed by Fannie Mae, gave loans to Havenpark to purchase these communities. This is against Fannie's goal to preserve affordable housing. Havenpark is using these cheap loans to take advantage of seniors, the disabled, veterans and low-income families, who cannot move their homes without great expense and difficulty. These same people often have no other options for affordable housing.
Michigan laws don't protect these residents from abuse. Rent can be raised any amount with just a 30-day notice. The Michigan legislature needs to step up and stop this gouging of Michigan's vulnerable.
Holly Hook, founder of Michigan Mobile Home Residents For Affordable Housing