At an open meeting on October 31 the County HRA Board discussed affordable housing and what the county can do to provide housing. You can read the Post Bulletin’s article on the Board’s discussion. http://www.postbulletin.com/news/local/what-s-the-right-path-for-hra/article_d1b5adb2-382d-563a-8a1d-3facdb1310f9.html
My position on affordable housing is that there has been enough discussion and the county must move forward with plan that will provide housing and generate revenue that can be used to fund future housing projects. The housing authority has been collecting an HRA property tax for two years but, up until October 31, was unable to move forward with a plan. Additionally, the county’s role must be to provide housing for people at the bottom of the income scale and those not being served by other community groups. Although there is a housing need for middle income wage earners, it my position that other community agencies and businesses must address those needs. It is important that Olmsted find a non-profit partner that can lend its expertise to our HRA (Housing and Redevelopment Authority) Staff so that the HRA can effectively and efficiently manage the housing and be in control of future revenue. HRA will start to prepare plans for one of our greatest needs which is affordable senior housing; this has the benefit of creating readily available affordable housing as seniors vacate their existing homes to move to senior housing. The HRA staff will produce a housing plan along with a financing strategy for the HRA Board to consider. I would like this to move as fast as possible but am also aware that careful and thoughtful planning takes time.