Housing headway made

City Council, Housing Authority discuss duplication, funding

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— The Steamboat Springs City Council vowed to empower the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, stay out of the "housing business" and improve its coordination and communication with the organization during a meeting Tuesday with Housing Authority officials and the Routt County Board of Commissioners.

"We made more headway tonight than we have in the last two years," Housing Authority President Mary Alice Page-Allen said at the meeting's conclusion.

That outcome seemed unlikely at the meeting's outset. City Council President Loui Antonucci opened the discussion by disclosing that council members had not yet discussed the city's relationship with the Housing Authority in depth among themselves. Antonucci said the council's ability to respond to the Housing Authority's concerns might be limited, which had some members of the 19-person roundtable immediately questioning the purpose of the meeting.

"We, as a Housing Authority, are here to get these questions answered," County Commissioner and Housing Authority board member Nancy Stahoviak said. "If the council is not ready to discuss it, I truly wonder why we're sitting here."

Antonucci repeated his caveat several times throughout the meeting, but the council as a whole proved quite willing to dive into issues concerning the city's relationship with the Housing Authority.

Recent moves by the city have put the Housing Authority on its heels - and even questioning its existence. In the past year, the city has passed affordable housing legislation, purchased the Iron Horse Inn for workforce housing and hired Community Housing Coordinator Nancy Engelken. Councilman Scott Myller said he understands the Housing Authority's concerns.

"It very much seems like the city was heading down a path of creating its own housing authority," he said.

The potential duplication of efforts was a major discussion point Tuesday. The Housing Authority has put off recruiting for a newly created position of housing qualifications specialist because of similarities between that job description and Engelken's.

"We are hesitant to even go out and solicit for that position, because we don't know what the city's position is in that regard," Page-Allen said.

Both job descriptions discuss the formulation and management of an affordable housing database. The issue was resolved with the consensus that the city would remove that responsibility from the city position and let the Housing Authority house the database. After the meeting, Page-Allen said the Housing Authority would move forward in efforts to hire for its new position.

Money, and the Housing Authority's need for it, also was debated. Housing Authority board member Ed MacArthur said the Housing Authority needs more resources.

"If you're going to have an authority, fund it, and let's go build some buildings," he said.

Revenue generated by the city's affordable housing legislation was discussed. There also was consensus on how the Housing Authority might access those funds. Council members said the Housing Authority shouldn't automatically receive money, but should respond to city bids. Housing Authority officials agreed that such a process was appropriate, but noted that if they had a project in mind, they might take the lead and approach the city to request money.

"I believe the Housing Authority is one tool the City Council can use to accomplish its goals," Councilwoman Cari Hermacinski said. "In the alternative, the City Council is just another source of funding for the Housing Authority."

Comments

addlip2U 6 years, 8 months ago

WOW, I only pulled out the quotes from the article. That had to be some discussion, sorry we don't have a video of it:

"We made more headway tonight than we have in the last two years," Housing Authority President Mary Alice Page-Allen said at the meeting's conclusion."

"We, as a Housing Authority, are here to get these questions answered," County Commissioner and Housing Authority board member Nancy Stahoviak said."

"Money, and the Housing Authority's need for it, also was debated. Housing Authority board member Ed MacArthur said the Housing Authority needs more resources."

I question the need for it's (the housing authority) existence too - disband it. All this authority will do is fight for money to support a staff while building an empire on each side. Consequently any money left will not be sufficient to build affordable housing.

Riddance to the affordable housing legislation, get out of the social way of life in Steamboat.

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ThreeJobs 6 years, 8 months ago

To the PILOT

I'm posting AGAIN!

Still no real answers. Don't you wonder WHY? Can it possibily be that all this government BLOAT is counterproductive. LET'S SEE THE NUMBERS!!!

How much money is collected? How is it spent? How many units currently are "deed restricted housing?" Who is living in them? Any renting any rooms out? How many units are being built? What is the cost added to market rate units as a result? What is the cost? Who qualifies? What are the restrictions? Who wants to buy into the program? Who wants to own "dead" restricted housing? Who would like to rent a market reate apartment ? How are Wlamart, City market, and the Ski corp and others participating in employee housing? How many percent of total and actual number are involved?

How many city employees are living at Iron Horse? Is there a waiting list or is there very little demand?

And from another poster, paraphrased: "What's going on with the city owned trailer park?"

These questions have been asking repeatedly in the forum but no answers have EVER been offered. Apparently none of the proponents want the real picture displayed. I'm not surprised. What I think you will find is a program that is fundamentally flawed both in concept and reality. What I think you will conclude is that restricting the market only drives prices higher and excludes more people

Take an in depth look at the policy and results. Step it up.

BE A REAL REPORTERS!

Do a series of articles. Perhaps one each week to allow time to really get the facts. Print the facts!

From here it looks like another bloated government program that has no hope of producing anything but a paycheck for those on staff. Shine the light. Take a real look.

.

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