One of our faithful readers and Carlyle resident asked us to pass along an e-mail from James Hobson and Nancy Carson, Housing Action Chairs. They have been fighting the City for years for more affordable housing for City workers and lower income people. The message is:
PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL, CALL OR WRITE
YOUR CITY COUNCIL NOW
The message is:
In these difficult economic times it imperative to preserve the existing bond fund and remaining 0.3 percent property tax for affordable housing preservation. * For three years, the Council has acted to protect the City’s supply of vital workforce and affordable housing. The proposed budget by the City Manager will now cripple the City’s affordable housing preservation program that is vital to Alexandria’s businesses and allows City workers to live near their jobs. The manager may redirect the existing $7.1 million housing bond fund and has propose the elimination the remaining 0.3 percent of the property tax allocated to preserve workforce housing. Without funds, the Office of housing can do little to stabilize the rapidly disappearing workforce housing. The proposed cut of nearly sixty (60) percent in General Fund Expenditures for the Office of Housing is extreme.
Optional: If you feel it is appropriate, please indicate in your message that you support the Council’s proposed level funding property tax of rate plus the addition of ¼ (0.25) a percent more in property taxes to protect funds for affordable housing, the Community Service Board, the Alexandria Fund for Human Services and other monies for the our most endangered citizens. This is the time for us to care for one another and protect those most in need.
PRESERVE THE HOUSING BOND FUNDS
AND THE 0.3 PERCENT OF THE PROPERTY TAX FOR HOUSING
Council Hearing Dates: Next week March 11th at 6:30PM and April 13th at 4:00PM both in the City Council Chambers. Here are the Council’s email addresses:
A Few Facts:
The present decrease in housing values presents the City with opportunities to achieve key housing goals at the least cost.
The preservation funds are needed:
- To preserve of 3,414 units of publicly assisted housing for the most vulnerable low-income citizens.
- To preserve the last remaining 6,000 units of privately owned affordable rental units. The alarming loss of nearly 12,000 such affordable units since the year 2,000 has severely affected the ability of teachers, police, firemen, nurses, office personnel and other important trades persons to live in Alexandria.
- To implement the shortly to be released recommendations for a balanced Alexandria housing and workforce strategy developed, at the Council’s request, by the Affordable Housing Initiatives Work Group.
Public comment (3-minute limit) will be permitted at the City Council Hearings. You may sign up to speak with City Clerk Jackie Henderson at Jackie.Henderson@alexandriava.gov, or you can sign up at the hearing.
* Note: In 2006, the Council committed one (1) percent of the property tax annually for the preservation of affordable housing. On the basis of the dedicated one percent revenue, the City issued a general obligation bond for housing in the amount of $22.1 million. Approximately $15 million has been spent to assist non-profit organizations to permanently preserve many affordable rental units. $7.1 million remains in bond funds for housing preservation. Seven tenths (0.7) of the one cent is committed to bond debt service, leaving 0.3 percent in tax revenues for continued affordable housing preservation. The city manager’s 2010 budget proposal is to possibly redirect the remaining bond funds and eliminate the remaining commitment of 0.3 percent of annual revenues for housing preservation.