Oversight needed for housing plan
I have read with interest the articles and letters concerning the city’s affordable housing plan.
I find it deplorable that so much sarcastic rhetoric has been used by both sides, such as “obstructionists,” “misguided and misleading,” “smells like sour grapes,” “socialist policies,” and “from what planet a handful of citizens come from.”
I am neither for or against this plan, but I am thoroughly confused. I have several questions:
• How would the housing planning organization be organized? Who would serve on it? Would they be paid?
• Who would “communicate the need for funding housing to area banks, hold forums with developers, study the current density bonuses, and reduce fees?”
• How would the city commission “support the Eastern Plains Housing Development Corporation?” Would it be with money?
• How would the plan “promote development of infill housing for single and multi-family homes?” With money? Free land? What? How would the plan “encourage developers to build homes for working families?” Would it be with money, grants, or what?
• How would developers qualify for such help? Low-income developers? Minority-owned businesses? Who would decide who gets this help?
• Who would keep track of these grants, or whatever, and see that the money was used for the purpose intended?
It is wise to consider these questions before embarking on such a housing plan. Several former members of the New Mexico Housing Authority are now under indictment for misuse of funds. Just this week there was an Albuquerque Journal article about the failure of the federal government’s Housing and Urban Development Authority.
So it seems only common sense that an affordable housing project must be entered into with much care and oversight.