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Any way you look at the numbers, New Bedford is in the midst of housing crisis. Rents and home prices have soared ever higher during the past two years, and those who have lived and worked in the city for decades are finding they can’t afford to live here anymore.

Amid the predicament, New Bedford is receiving almost $82 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding from the American Rescue Act Plan. Mayor Jon Mitchell’s ARPA recommendations do not make housing one of the highest spending priorities for the federal funds. Housing advocates say that’s misguided.

New Bedford Light columnist Jack Spillane discussed the city’s housing needs with Executive Minister at Inter-Church Council of Greater New Bedford Rev. David Lima; former School Committee member Josh Amaral, who is also the assistant executive director at PACE; and Renee Ledbetter of United Interfaith Action.

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