Recently there has been a great deal of discussion regarding the Affordable Housing ordinance/plan passed by the Clovis City Commission.
It’s now the subject of a negative referendum election to be held on Aug. 2.
It has been said this ordinance will allow the city to demolish, and clear properties that can be donated to developers of AH projects. The fact is the city has in the past sold properties to entities for as little as $1 without such an ordinance and can continue to do so in the future.
It has been said such AH projects are needed for Air Force personnel, but when looking at wage scales most pay grades will not qualify for the majority of AH projects.
It’s been said the Hotel Clovis must be demolished if this ordinance is not passed, however there is no public record indicating such a mandate.
It’s been said the Hotel Clovis renovation project can’t go forward without this ordinance being in place, but the developer could continue the project by finding additional non-city financing.
It’s been said the current developer has been the only interested party in developing the Hotel Clovis. According to a June 30, 2007, Clovis News Journal article there was another developer interested in renovating it for senior living.
It’s been said that many communities use such an ordinance as a tool. If you do a quick search on the web you can find several articles of communities that after passing an AH ordinance have experienced AH issues that resulted in litigation from advocacy groups costing the taxpayers millions of dollars in legal costs. The city of Santa Fe is currently embroiled in such a legal battle over their AH ordinance just because they want to ease AH restrictions.
Advocacy groups through the courts are dictating how the ordinance is to be applied rather than the local elected officials.
What has not been said is how much this ordinance will cost the taxpayers considering that currently there is no identified budget, or revenue stream for the ordinance/plan.
It has not been said what the potential exposure is for the city to future potential litigation.
There are free-market solutions available if we can get past the idea that government is the answer to all of our problems.
There are new homes available in the Lubbock market for less than $76 per square foot. Why don’t we look at how they achieve this without growing government and government spending?
Let’s look at solving the affordable housing issue by removing governmental barriers rather than magnifying those barriers.