Tuesday, December 06, 2022

At Its 1st Meeting with 2 New Republican Members, Watauga CoCommish Votes To Spend Money Advancing the Cause of Affordable Housing


Castle and Eggers last night

Last night, with newly installed Republican members Braxton Eggers and Todd Castle and presided over by new Commish Chair Larry Turnbow, the board voted unanimously to approve $52,300 for an affordable housing study of an 8-acre tract of county-owned land near Brookshire Park. The proposed study is the result of the interest generated for affordable/workforce housing at last spring's "housing forums."

As a result of those well attended forums, the dormant Watauga County Community Housing Trust was reactivated with County Planner Joe Furman serving on the board of directors. Furman initiated discussions with the UNC School of Government's Development Finance Initiative (DFI), which is charged with helping counties with economic development projects. 

The DFI subsequently presented a proposal for technical services to the county "to attract a private development partner for the development of housing for low- and moderate-income households" on the Brookshire Road site. The proposed "technical assistance" was priced to the county at $62,300, but the High Country Assoc. of Realtors and NC Realtors Assoc. have pledged $10,000 to help underwrite this study. The DFI estimates the study and recruitment of a private partner to take seven months. (The full scope of the "technical assistance" that DFI is promising gets outlined on pages 29-30 here.)

If people were expecting the election of Republican members to the Commish to signal cantankerous wrangling over the spending of public money, it certainly didn't happen last night. Affordable housing appears to retain its salience for both sides.


Anonymous said...

Does this mean more acres of cheap apartments?

Wolf's Head said...

SO, we have gone from a single earner working class family, even a lower middle-class one, such as a factory worker, being able to buy their own house, raise several kids, have at least one vehicle and a yearly vacation to now having the government pay for some consultant to help the county find someone to help them build low to moderate income housing.

And you all wonder why folks can't afford homes?

Keep increasing inflation while wages stagnate, it's what you've been doing for decades.

Anonymous said...

We've gone from unions leveling the playing field back to large corporations calling pretty much all the shots, plus the leverage buyout frenzy of the '80's, then add in globalization which drove down prices, wages and the quality of many products.