Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Affordable Housing Ordinance Doesn't Move Forward

Vote was 3-2 against creating a dedicated affordable housing fund via ordinance, despite overwhelming public support for the idea at tonight's public hearing -- largest turnout of citizens for a public hearing in recent memory, which was gratifying and affirming (even if I can't shake the feeling that I let them all down). Was interesting/eye-opening to see how hard certain people (including a number of former Democratic City Councilors) lobbied, mostly behind the scenes, to help derail the proposal. All is not lost, however; thanks to a resolution drafted by David Brown and adopted unanimously at tonight's meeting, there's a chance we may yet be able to secure some additional funds for housing in the months and years ahead, even if we're unlikely to see the level of investment (or the sustained commitment of funds) that many of us had hoped. Such is the nature of politics -- compromise is the name of the game. And to Council's credit, what we have now in the funding pipeline for housing is at least a lot more than what we had 2 years ago....

My thanks to Holly Edwards for supporting the ordinance, and to my fellow Councilors for giving it a fair hearing. And special thanks to all who came and spoke at tonight's public hearing, especially those who shared their personal stories about struggling to get by in this "World-Class City" of ours. Your testimonies will not be forgotten.

Oh, and I've just got to pass on a word of appreciation for former Vice Mayor Meredith Richards, who stood up to say, this ordinance is a good start, but the problem is, it actually doesn't go far enough. That is a woman of vision!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dave, YOU certainly were not the one who let anyone down on this one. Unlike most politicians, particularly the three counselors who did not support the proposal, you were actually carrying out a proposal from your campaign platform. If I might quote from voterfordave.org:

To that end, I offer up the following proposals for addressing the shortage of affordable housing in our community:

1. Follow the lead of 350 other communities across the country and create a Charlottesville Affordable Housing Investment Fund, with a dedicated annual source of local revenue, to leverage additional dollars from state, federal & private sources and provide flexible financing for creation of new housing opportunities targeted to low-income and working-class residents.

Unfortunately, most of your colleagues on council tend to forget the promises they make as soon as they are elected, and only see low income housing as a place to be photographed and solict votes.