The 12-member Affordable Housing Oversight Committee met via ZOOM on Wednesday evening.

The committee is an important aspect of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and will help to shape affordable housing development for years to come.

Trust Fund Administrator Emily Harris-Shears pointed out the importance of equity building in the community.

“One of our areas is around equity building which is feels like a really key foundation for the trust fund and ensuring that funds are reaching communities in need,” said Harris-Shears. “That is going to be a key component of the work that we do in this committee.”

Katie Carlson also spoke on the subject of equity.

“One of the ways of equity I think is looking at long term solutions,” said Carlson. “So, getting people into housing now, but then also how do they afford something long term where they can also continue to live and not be spending 50% or more of their income on housing which allows them to save more and eventually maybe buy a house or buy a condo or buy something that gives them long term stability.”

One aspect of housing that was discussed by a ZOOM meeting participant was legal issues around inspection of rental property.

“I had inquired about that and had set it up when I was in that situation and was told that it was only available if the owner of the building, not the tenant, paid for the inspection for the entire building,” she said. “I think that that's something that definitely should be done because there are people that are looking into these resources, because as equity is great, but also equity in addition to safe housing is important.”

Mayor John Engen also commented on the subject of property inspection.

“What I think this committee can do, as a as a function of its work and what we may be able to invest in as a function of this trust fund, is ensuring that that whatever gets built in the name of affordability and sustainability, also has some maintenance requirements, and maybe even some clawbacks if we find that somebody isn't operating a property in a way that promotes health and safety.”

Get more information about the Affordable Housing Resident Oversight Committee here.


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