- Matt Morrow (co-chair)
- Bob Horton (co-chair)
- Matt Bailey
- Jeff Barber
- Tom Barr
- Tom Dornan
- Dana Elwell
- Michelle Garand
- Jim Hutcheson
- Jeff Kester
- Randy McCoy
- Jennifer Kennally
- Tim Rosenbury
- Jan Sederholm
- Debbie Shantz
- Ben Stone
- Vern Morgan
- Doug Burlison
Follow the Housing Committee blog for their discussions and ideas. Non-members may read, but not post to, this blog.
Housing will be safe, available, affordable, and sustainable for the citizens of our city, county, and region.
We encourage you to review the DRAFT Housing chapter of Field Guide 2030.
In convening the Housing strategic planning committee, we intentionally gathered a group that would not easily agree with one another on the priorities, challenges and issues we face. We wanted to assemble a diverse group of stakeholders with wide-ranging areas of expertise, specialization, and perspectives – a group that represented the broad perspectives of our community. Our draft chapter includes only those goals that reached consensus among these diverse perspectives.
Very few of our goals require (or even request) direct government action, regulation or top-down programs. Rather, this chapter recognizes local government as just one of many partners in the process of achieving our shared housing priorities. Only with guidance, buy-in and support from individual citizens, private businesses, non-profits and the public sector will our shared goals be reached.
Our first major goal is the establishment a Housing and Neighborhoods Office. Coordinated and funded as a partnership by both the public and private sectors, the office would identify unmet housing and neighborhood needs and facilitate solutions. The office can serve as a regional resource for: data collection, housing resource libraries, rental rating systems, dispute resolution and more. Collaboration on housing policy, promotion of diverse and flexible housing types, and development and redevelopment patterns would also be priorities.
Initial objectives of the Neighborhoods Office would include:
- Develop a local online tool for moderated, voluntary scoring of rental housing by tenants and landlords (similar to an “Angie’s List”).
- Pursue and expand assistance programs for residents to obtain and maintain affordable housing.
- Identify a limited two-year pilot program to evaluate advantages and disadvantages of rental registration or inspection programs.
- Promote diversity of housing types - consistent with market demand - in development and re-development patterns.
Our next goal is to expand incentives and means for funding efficiency improvements in existing housing stock. State and federal programs offering financial support for energy efficiency improvements should be embraced by local governments and utilities whenever feasible. The focus should be on the areas where greatest energy efficiency gains can be made – normally in older homes and buildings.
We also want to see meaningful regulation and certification reform. Zoning requirements should be re-evaluated and restructured to allow for flexibility and a greater mix of blended housing options. Collaboration with area jurisdictions for consistency on codes, inspection and interpretation also is critical.
Our final goal is to encourage the private sector to expand availability of affordable housing. While the concept of “affordability” is relevant to (and should be protected for) home buyers and renters at every price point, particular care must be taken to protect access to affordable housing opportunities for those of lesser means. The efforts of non-profits and other aid organizations should be better coordinated to this end. Rating systems for affordable housing projects should reward innovative projects that not only house the poor, but also provide paths to upward mobility. Community land trusts and other innovative solutions to keep housing affordable at all levels should be explored further.
The consensus process is really just beginning. Our committee is eager to hear and incorporate your feedback.
By: Matt Morrow – Springfield Home Builders Association and Bob Horton – Urban Neighborhoods Alliance