Monday, February 18, 2008

Moving Annexation Policy Forward with Affordable Housing

Councilwomen Campbell and Cohen have continued their efforts to improve annexation policy in Salisbury. They requested a special council meeting, held on December 12, with the city's annexation consultant, Chris Jakubiak. During this meeting, language advocated by both councilwomen was tightened for the protection of the city and its citizens. A change in contract process recommended by Cohen was added.

Out of this meeting came a request for Campbell to provide a list of resources for affordable housing. Campbell explained that, in the process of obtaining the most current information regarding state resources, an opportunity evolved to bring the state’s experts to Salisbury for a forum with developers interested in providing affordable and workforce housing for the citizens of Salisbury. Additionally, Campbell shared a vision of how to significantly leverage developer contributions from the annexation process.

The model would provide a continuous financing mechanism in perpetuity for affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization in the city, without the duplication of, or competition with, already successful and available non-profit services and resources in the city that would be encountered with the formation of a city-owned/managed community development corporation (CDC). The model also maximizes the developer contributions for their intended purposes and could attract additional outside resources. Campbell credits a diverse group of volunteers with thinking through the mechanism needed to make the model a reality for the city. She is also convening an affordable housing forum for local developers on March 6.