Dear Mayor Cates and City Commissioners:
Now that I have read that the White St. Partners’ approval of the $55m offer excludes the acreage available for 48 more affordables, I cannot support this purchase.
At $350K per unit, I have to ask:
1. Can we do better buying up existing condos and paying condo fees, avoiding adding existing staff for maintenance, and applying the same regulations and requirements currently done on existing units controlled by the Housing Authority. (See my May letter)
2. Can we do better using existing land owned by the City, or possibly available for trade with other government entities (School District’s admin. site) and contract for the construction of beautiful concrete modulars (such as the firehouse’s construction) laid out with angles that give everyone a touch of view and privacy, as opposed to ghetto-like row house still bonding, but working on a slower pick-up schedule that will give City time to add needed maintenance staff?
3. Is City maintenance staff in place already geared up to add 150 units all at once?
4. Has the City:
a. put in place a plan that identifies areas of greatest need? Since I’m living on 26k/yr 11k of which goes to my mortgage pay’t, taxes and insurance, I’m having a hard time seeing a great need to subsidize the income level this purchase is designed to subsidize, as laid out by the Housing Authority in this morning’s paper.
b. put in place, say a 5 yr plan for affordable housing that states specific objectives and includes a budget, a consideration of resources and restraints, an evaluation of the methods and activities that might be chosen to accomplish ends, a timeline, and an instrument for evaluating the plan to keep it on track through changes in administration, or changing needs based on new information?
c. Assigned or recommended a percentage allotment of money to be spent to each different financial category of affordables?
5. SINCE PEARY CT WAS BUILT WITH FEDERAL TAX MONIES, MAY I ASSUME THAT, AT SOME POINT, BEFORE IT WAS SOLD TO WHITE ST. PARTNERS, IT WAS OFFERED FOR SALE TO THE CITY BUT THAT THE CITY WAS UNABLE TO ACT BECAUSE OF THE RECESSION?
6. In closing, do we even need to put this issue out for referendum before we have time to know if it’s the best solution to our admitted obvious problem?
Thank you for your time and service,