Friday, November 15, 2019

Several Affordable Housing Items on Monday's City Council Agenda

Summary of recommendations from the presentation, Feasibility Analysis of Affordable Housing on Underutilized City-Owned Property

Good news gentle reader: there is an ambitious slate affordable housing items on Monday's #a2council agenda. Scott Trudeau, former Ann Arbor Planning Commissioner, has a great summary which I am stealing. You can find his original google doc, which I am presenting largely unedited below.

In April of this year, City Council directed city staff to evaluate the feasibility of developing several city-owned parcels as affordable housing. The report evaluating the parcels is complete and it will be presented at the November 18th City Council Meeting (7pm in Council Chambers at City Hall, worldwide on YouTube).

Here is a Google Map of sites with a summary of staff recommendations.

Staff is not wasting any time. They have also included resolutions to move forward each of the recommendations from the analysis. Recommendations fall into one of four categories: develop, immediately, further research by staff, pursue (or continue) community engagement, or do not develop as housing.

Most notably, staff identified both the 4th/Catherine surface parking lot and the UM Dental Clinic site on N Ashley (currently leased to U-M) as sites to begin to develop immediately as affordable housing. Staff highlights that these sites are likely to score highly for federal low income housing tax credit funds (LIHTC) and be feasible to develop as affordable housing for households making no more than 60% of the area median income (60% AMI). (To learn more about affordable housing jargon like LIHTC and AMI, this is a great article: The ABCs of affordability in Washtenaw County.)

2000 S Industrial (current Housing Commission office & city maintenance lot) was identified as needing more evaluation from staff to determine how to maximize the number of 60% AMI homes with a financially viable project.

For larger but complex sites (or sites that already have an ongoing community engagement processes), the recommendations are to begin (or continue) a community engagement process to narrow down the ideal scenarios for these sites: Ashley/William (Klein’s) Lot, First/William Lot, 721 N Main St, and the AAHC Platt/Springbrook site.

The staff report recommends not developing 1320 Baldwin (Senior Center) and recommends evaluating 1510 E. Stadium (decommissioned fire station #2) as temporary or permanent office space for the Housing Commission or other city office use.

Here are links to the individual agenda items:

INT-1 Analysis of the Financial Feasibility of Developing Under-Utilized City-Owned Properties as Affordable Housing
CA-10 Resolution to Direct the Ann Arbor Housing Commission to Develop 121 E. Catherine and 404 N. Ashley as Affordable Housing (4th/Catherine surface lot and U-M Dental Clinic building & surface lot sites)
CA-11 Resolution to Direct the Ann Arbor Housing Commission to Pursue Affordable Housing Development of 2000 S. Industrial
CA-12 Resolution to Direct City Staff to Conduct Community Engagement Around Development Options for Ashley/William and First/William Surface Parking Lots to Support Affordable Housing in the City
CA-13 Resolution to Direct the City Staff to Conduct Community Engagement Around Development Options for 721 N Main in Support of Affordable Housing in the City
CA-14 Resolution to Direct the Ann Arbor Housing Commission to Continue Community Engagement Around Development Options for the AAHC-Owned Properties at 3432 - 3440 Platt Road and 3435 - 3443 Springbrook to Support Affordable Housing in the City
CA-15 Resolution to Direct the Ann Arbor Housing Commission to Determine Feasibility of using 1510 E. Stadium for Temporary or Permanent AAHC or Other City Office Space
CA-16 Resolution Directing the City Administrator to Collaborate with the Ann Arbor Housing Commission to Provide Coordinated Analysis on the Feasibility of the City-Owned Property at 353 S. Main as a Potential Location for Affordable Housing (“Palio Lot”)

Ok gentle readers, it's me again. Isn't this exciting news? If you can, come to the #a2council meeting on Monday and let them know what you think. You can also email all the councilmembers what you think. Here are their emails.

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