Last week the City Council approved a resolution allocating 1.25 percent of the previous year’s sales tax – or about $500,000 — to the affordable housing fund. The resolution includes a funding cap of $2 million to allow the accumulation of funds over time for matching or back -up grant funding for affordable housing projects with the understanding that outside grant support would always be sought first to leverage local resources.
While the motion passed, it was clear that several Council members were a little uncomfortable. Dave Clark said trying to provide housing for everyone is “an impossible problem to solve.” Don Overcash added that throwing money at a problem doesn’t always solve it. The discussion rambled at times but it did touch several times on the relationship between housing and fees. For example, who pays for growth if fee waivers (for affordable housing projects) are approved? In the past 20 years, the City has waived $9 million in fees. How do development fees affect home prices? These are good questions that weren’t answered that night.