City councilors concerned about Affordable Housing Fund tweaks

Sep 19, 2019 hprijhpt

first_imgVancouver city councilors raised concerns about suggested revisions to plans for allocating money from the city’s voter-created Affordable Housing Fund.During Monday’s city council workshop, Peggy Sheehan, Vancouver’s community and economic development programs manager, presented an updated version of the Affordable Housing Fund’s administrative and financial plan that was originally created in June 2016.The levy-supported fund, which Vancouver voters approved in November through Proposition 1, has to serve families that earn no more than 50 percent of the area median income, which would come out to $37,350 annually for a family of four. The city sent out requests for project proposals that either produce more housing or preserve housing for people in that income bracket, and received 10 applications.A four-person committee reviewed the applications.“It’s been a really fast turnaround,” Sheehan said. “We wanted to be able to respond to the current housing crisis and take advantage of the construction appetite that’s been happening in our community.”Not just for rentOne of the suggested revisions in the fund’s administrative and financial plan is to clarify that housing assistance includes financial assistance not just for rent, but also for utilities and security deposits. Councilor Alisha Topper said she’s uncomfortable with taking funds designated for affordable housing and putting them toward utility assistance, however.“I would hate to divert those funds from actual rent,” she said.Sheehan said that people may need help with their rent or their utilities, and that Clark Public Utilities’ assistance program had to turn away qualified households because there aren’t enough funds.last_img

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