I usually update you after each council meeting; however, even after waiting a week, I am still too distraught to do so.
Instead, I will urge you to attend the upcoming September 20 meeting as it is a very important one.
I also want to make a few comments about housing. Jan Wondra has done a very nice job of sharing some of the information from the EPS market analysis on our housing situation in the newspaper. I believe that many of our local developers are trying to assist with some more attainable housing (restricting housing costs, whether rents or mortgages, to 30% of monthly income) for those in the 80-100% of annual median income (AMI). However, we will need supplements for those who earn less than 80%. I recently took Dan Osborn’s place at the Colorado Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) hearing for Salida’s applications for rental housing at Vandaveer under a 20-year tax credit program. The session went very well, but there is a lot of competition for these funds. There are 43 communities applying this year for 8-10 awards. And unfortunately, we found ourselves in competition with Buena Vista. CHFA doesn’t like to make such local decisions. I understand that we have similar needs and we’ll have to work together to figure this out. If an applicant doesn’t get the award, good feedback is provided to assist with the next round.
Many of the communities applying are likely to figure out that other means must be determined to achieve these ends. The EPS report suggests several ways of raising funds to purchase land or provide incentives for public-private partnerships. These include a housing tax district, fees for a housing fund from any subdivided property, requirements for affordable housing in each new subdivision, improved zoning and setting annual goals are a few of these. I believe it is the responsibility of the City Council to get a program in place and I urge you to support me in this venture for the sake of our community.