by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
Tuesday, the Buncombe County Commmissioners will likely approve a workforce housing policy (1, 2, 3). They are authorized to provide housing assistance for persons with annual household incomes between $44,300 and $77,560:
Pursuant to G.S. §153A-378, counties are authorized to engage in and to appropriate and expend funds for residential housing construction for sale or rental to persons and families of low and moderate income.
So, you thought protecting liberties had nothing to do with collecting enough taxes to cover police and fire protection, infrastructure upgrades, planning, regulation, visioning, diversifying, identifying, vibrating, and all those other things government does, and then collecting more to cover those services for recipients of incentives. [The point of that last sentence is likely to be misconstrued into a call for lawless anarchy.] The county explains why it is good that most citizens should share the burden of breaks for the few:
The policy exists because affordable housing opportunities for all segments of the community are an important part of developing and maintaining a healthy economy and diverse workplace. The difficulties working families face in affording a safe and decent place to live in our area has given rise to the need to create additional incentives for the private and non-profit sector to develop affordable workforce housing.
I read into this an admission that some parts of the county have uncontrollably gone to seed, and so rather than fighting crime in those areas, government needs to subsidize houses in safe neighborhoods. The first sentence reminds me of the Irish who came to America, worked hard, and retired to multi-multi-tenant crawl spaces at night.
Zero-percent, fifteen-year loans will be available. Developers can get as much as $5000 per green unit. Incentives offered may be as much as 85% of tax revenues collected for the project over a five-year period. To be eligible, projects must be rent-controlled for fifteen years. Tenant incomes are to be verified annually. Those earning more than they are supposed to and reporting the same shall be booted.