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The 6 most important changes to our housing rules

We’ve been closely tracking the housing mitigation and housing rules & regs updates in the town and county’s “Engage2017” planning updates. Town Council and County Commission are getting input that opposes our goals of fair housing for all, and more affordable and workforce housing … so hearing from community members who support housing is critical. The town & county have a joint meeting on Monday October 30 about both mitigation and the housing rules & regulation. We hope to see you there!

 

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Oct. 30: Joint Town Council and County Commissioners meeting to consider alternatives and develop a draft policy direction. 5 p.m., Town Hall. May be continued to Nov. 1-2 if necessary. Public comment to be accepted.
Nov. 3: Release of draft policy direction. 5 p.m., Town Hall.
Nov. 13: Joint town and county meeting to finalize policy direction. 5 p.m., Town Hall. Public comment to be accepted.

 

OUR TOP PRIORITIES

Housing rules & regs: overall, simplify the rules, and don’t discriminate either intentionally or unintentionally against most vulnerable community members.

  1. Don’t discriminate against renters based on immigration status. The comprehensive plan calls for housing 65% of all local workers, not just documented workers. Unlike with employment, no law requires asking about documentation for housing – it’s just a policy decision, and one that is currently excluding a large number of our community members who have lived here for decades, work hard, and pay taxes. Please remove immigration status from your rental criteria. (Policy Question 1.)
  2. Owners should be able to rent rooms to other local workers. For employment-based homes without income restrictions, there is no reason to prohibit roommates. And if roommates do not push an income-limited owner over the income limit, that should be allowed too. Ultimately, allowing roommates who also work here further helps house our workforce. (Policy Question 9.)
  3. Simplify the lottery process by entirely removing preferences and points. The current system is complex and also gives extra weight to people who have the ability to volunteer – excluding service workers forced to work multiple jobs just to provide for their families. (Policy Question 10.)

Housing mitigation / requirements: overall: simplify the program and fully mitigate for 65% of new employee generation

  1. Our housing mitigation program should generate enough units to actually *keep up* with new jobs created, and house 65% of our new employees. This will likely mean increasing mitigation rates, as well as applying them for both year-round and seasonal jobs, for all jobs paying below 200% area median income, and on commercial and residential projects.
  2. Simplify the program by reducing the number of use categories and removing the change-of-use fee – instead, just charge an averaged rate initially.
  3. Require 1-for-1 replacement of any existing units lost to redevelopment. In addition to “keeping up” with the new development, we also need to replace affordable/workforce units that are bulldozed before that new development is built – and we should require these be replaced 1-for-1. Otherwise, we’re just digging our hole deeper.

 

FULL COMMENTS

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