I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Where can we Build Low-Income Housing?

Residents received postcards like the one above, generating significant angst about the location of low income housing very close to their neighborhoods

I attended the Creekside Oaks HOA meeting last night, and the large topic of discussion was the contemplated low income housing that residents have learned about.

And the residents I spoke with had legitimate concerns about low income housing being brought in near where they live.  The concerns are valid:  Will crime increase?  Will the property values decrease? Is the former Golf Course where this construction is contemplated even zoned for this?

"We cannot get answers about the zoning, they won't tell us what the old golf course is zoned for!" one angry resident commented during the meeting.  "They will answer me when I ask" I responded.

I'm not sure what the status is of this contemplated low income housing, but I assured the residents that I would find out and that I would relay the neighbors' concerns to county staff.  I also told them I would relay any information received back from staff to Mike, the HOA president.

All of this said....

Seeing very quickly that nobody wants this low income housing anywhere near where they live---where do we put it?  I need to research this because according to the estimates I have heard, there are more than 3,000 people on waiting lists in Escambia County for affordable housing.

Where can we Build Low-Income Housing?

Several of the salient points discussed were sent to me in writing by a concerned citizen who lives in this neighborhood...

"The main focus of the meeting (hence the high membership turn out) was about the proposed low income housing development on the golf course land that surrounds our neighborhood.  Here are my thoughts on the subject which I believe are shared by all in the neighborhood -

  • A Private Developer who makes money off government XXXX (Our taxes) wants to develop a parcel of land next to our neighborhood in order to benefit from this government handout.  As soon as the land is developed and sold, this private developer takes off and leaves the oncoming mess with the community to deal with.  We all know what this "mess" will be - rundown property, trash, crime, decreased property values and eventually the folks that owned what was once considered their pride and joy move away to try to improve their quality of life.  This private developer and others don't really care because they have made their money and it's not in their backyard.  These projects never turn out good.
  • The people on the waiting list for "free stuff" move in and immediately the downward spiral begins for our surrounding neighborhood's quality of life -(see "mess").  And we have just doubled the competition for ingress to Michigan Avenue due to the single entrance into our neighborhood.  I can show countless pictures of Habitat for Humanity Homes that are completely rundown due to the lack of caring by the inhabitants.  One would think when given a chance to call a place home at least the home would not become an eye sore.
  • When it's all said and done, I as a hardworking citizen that goes to work, pays taxes and has invested in this community (and believe me, just look around, this West Michigan Avenue area needs all the help it can get to keep quality neighborhoods in place) sees all that hard work and investment go down the drain.  Who's going to refund me my losses? 

SO, I say NO WAY! Not in my backyard!  Ask each commissioner to build a project next to their own neighborhood.  You know the answer to that."

No comments: