Local News

Cumberland County Receives Gold Stars, Red Flags on Community Group Report Card

Posted March 28, 2001

— Your child's report card tracks his or her performance in school. One local group is charting Cumberland County's performance in the community.

MetroVisions says less than 60 percent of families in Cumberland County own homes, and according to the community group, that is not enough. Home ownership is one of the red flag issues it lists in its annual Report Card.

"The initial bottom line is concern over the economic base. The ultimate bottom line is the quality of life issue," says MetroVisions chairman Dr. Ernest Johnson.

The purpose of the benchmark report is to highlight what is going well in the community and to draw attention to what needs improving.

Some gold stars include:

  • public education improvements
  • the patient-doctor ratio
  • voter participation
  • a decrease in juvenile violent crimeRed flags include the high rate of child abuse and the high property tax.

    MetroVisions says the property tax is one thing that keeps more people from buying houses.

    But there are others. Military families often rent, and Cumberland County has a higher than average poverty index and lower than average family income.

    "We need to address affordable housing," says county commissioner Breeden Blackwell. "That doesn't mean necessarily mobile homes, but we have to try and develop community awareness of community housing."

    The report also suggests developing teams to look into additional solutions.

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