Q&A: Patricia Motter
President and CEO, Interfaith Housing Alliance
What is the mission of Interfaith Housing Alliance and how long has it been operating?
IHA’s mission is to create opportunities for affordable housing and services that improve quality of life and permanent housing stability. IHA has been serving communities for over 26 years.
Work has just started at 520 N. Market St. on mixed-income workforce housing. Could you explain what that is and when will it be completed?
520 N. Market is an exciting urban infill housing development that combines the renovation of a historic building with the blending of a new building to create 59 units of affordable housing in Downtown Frederick. It is walkable to all Downtown has to offer and will include an array of residential services on site. It is a wonderful opportunity for our service industry employees, seniors and others who need affordable housing. We expect to complete it in the spring of 2018.
What are some other “outside-of-the-box” ideas being considered for housing here?
We are fortunate to have dedicated community organizations, groups and elected officials “thinking outside of the box” on housing issues. The most recent example would be the “tiny” house. There are some impediments to overcome to make these a reality, but so much is being discussed, including looking at community examples. We especially need to explore options for individuals over 55, a growing segment of the population locally and nationally.
How does affordable housing strengthen a community?
People can work and live in the same community, thus improving work/life balance. Walkable, affordable communities are better for the environment. It brings diversity of culture and disposable income to communities people live in. There is a pride in being part of a community that supports inclusion and participation. Affordable housing residents are often first-responders, teachers, service industry and technically skilled workers and our seniors.
What makes your job fulfilling to you?
To know I can contribute to creating a vibrant community where individuals and families can rest a bit easier at night knowing they have safe, quality affordable housing they can call home.