Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, who is sponsoring the ordinance endorsed Wednesday by the Community Development Committee, said the plan to strengthen the rules for the Neighborhood Housing Improvement Fund would be a step toward providing a better approach to housing for low and middle-income residents.The mayor's office responds that they'd rather have the money available to "reduce blight" which they say is a higher priority than affordable housing right now. Not that the two purposes are entirely mutually exclusive. It's more of a difference in approach between finding ways to provide direct help to residents and finding ways to "put property back into commerce" so it can be resold and redeveloped.
“We’ve needed a housing plan for a long time. We’re behind the eight ball, but we’re getting there,” she said.
The fund, which Cantrell said generates about $3 million a year, is supposed to be used according to a housing plan devised by an advisory committee, though that hasn’t occurred in recent years and the committee no longer exists. Instead, the money is typically just included as part of the general budget drawn up by the mayor and approved by the council.
Or not in a lot of cases. Take, for example, today's photo revisit. Here is a picture I took in 2007 following the Super Sunday parade up MLK Boulevard.
I didn't remember exactly what block this was so I had a little trouble hunting it down again last week. Of course it didn't help that more than one house in the original shot had since been demolished. But I found it.
Nobody lives on it now. But at least that land is ready to go back into commerce.