Monday, April 15, 2013

The More Things Change…

While cleaning out my desk for our move last week I found a copy of The Sun from June 9, 2002. Presumably I saved this particular paper because it featured an in-depth report on Columbia on the occasion of the towns 35th birthday.

As I reread the piece to decide whether it was worthy of continued retention, I chuckled when I came across the following paragraphs.

Lately, some loco activists have begun carping about the need to do more for low income housing in downtown Columbia, besides the Columbia Downtown Housing Corporation which was established as a part of the redevelopment legislation. The trust receives its funding to provide affordable housing from a fee assessed on every new housing unit created in downtown. It was seeded with a million dollar check from Howard Hughes.

Eleven years ago nothing like this existed or was proposed.

Is it enough?

Of course not. Providing low income housing in an area of relatively high housing values will always be a challenge, just as it was back in 1967.  Instead of demanding more subsidized housing in one place from one developer though, perhaps the better strategy would be to create a countywide housing trust that assesses a fee on all new residential units in HoCo.
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