Sarasota Housing Authority Resident's Association

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Seeking Shelter

The Veice Gondolier has a story today about rebuilding public housing and the factors involved:

Low-income, affordable, subsidized, workforce -- four housing terms that are often used interchangeably but actually have very different meanings.

For Sarasota County residents making $20,000 or less a year, it's the "low-income" housing they're most worried about. Both of the county's public housing authorities are attempting to win large-scale redevelopment deals that could -- potentially -- mean fewer housing units for the poorest of the poor.

That worries people like Valerie Buchand, president of the Janie Poe Residents Council and Residents Task Force with the Housing Authority of the City of Sarasota.

Add in the idea of creating a regional housing authority that combines cities like Venice, Sarasota, Arcadia and Punta Gorda and the concern only increases. The Miami office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will have a meeting on the topic Monday at Venice City Hall.

"I would hope they're not trying to combine it just to get rid of it," Buchand said. "When I first heard about it, that was my thought. ... It's almost like we're up for grabs with all these political people, but none of the people I know running for public office even want to take a stand for our rights."

City Manager Marty Black suggested the idea while attempting to resolve controversy about Venice Housing Authority's redevelopment proposal. Every aspect of Venice's project from quality of design, the number of units dedicated to the poor, public input and overpricing has been questioned.

Suggesting a partnership with HACS means Venice could potentially inherit its $137 million redevelopment, and history of multiple failed redevelopment proposals.

I seriously doubt the City of Venice would "inherit" Sarsaota's public housing redevelopment project. Never the less, the article is worth reading.


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