Davidson affordable house

Davidson commissioners voiced approval for designating money from the town’s affordable housing account to both a down-payment assistance program and a home repair and renovations fund.

DAVIDSON – Commissioners have expressed support for continuing municipal affordable housing efforts and begin 2019 with financial commitments for specific programs along with plans to investigate other options.

In December, the town board agreed to a housing-training partnership with the Ada Jenkins Center and established the foundation for two other programs to help individuals with home purchases and maintenance of older houses.

Following presentations from Town Attorney Cindy Reid, who works directly with the town’s Affordable Housing Steering Committee, commissioners voiced approval for designating money from the town’s affordable housing account to both a down-payment assistance program and a home repair and renovations fund.

Funds for the affordable housing program have been generated through a “payment in lieu” approach requiring residential developers to make payments to the town if their projects did not provide a specified percentage of affordable units. The account currently totals more than $2 million, but the status of future contributions is uncertain because of limited property for future developments.

In December, the board gave tentative approval to placing $60,000 in a down-payment assistance fund. The program would provide up to $7,000 toward home purchase down payments for individuals meeting income qualifications. The board also endorsed the idea of raising the contribution to $10,000 for town police, fire and other service field personnel. Repayment of the grants will be required, on a percentage basis, if the recipient sells the home within a designated time frame.

The board also backed a plan to stock a repair/renovations fund with up to $200,000 to assist with needed repairs on older homes occupied by lower-income residents.

Moving forward, in addition to the discussed programs, commissioners want to explore possibilities for establishing a town-managed land trust program to preserve properties and potentially provide other affordable housing options.

 

Beaty Street Park input session rescheduled

DAVIDSON – The citizen group compiling recommendations for future development of a park on town-owned land along Beaty Street has moved its final public input session to Feb. 19 (previously scheduled for Jan. 14).

Engineering and hydrologic studies on the dam and pond on the property are continuing and members of the Beaty Street Conceptual Plan Task Force want to have the information available for a presentation and question-and-answer session planned at the gathering.

So far, the task force has held more than a dozen public input opportunities including two surveys, two public sessions, nine guided hikes, a back-to-school presentation at Gethsemane Baptist Church and a Kids Draw-a-Park event. The group has also staffed an information booth at the Davidson Farmers’ Market and posted an idea wall at town hall and on Pinterest.

Major property elements that could influence task force recommendations include the viability and feasibility of the pond/dam, the ecological benefits of the pond versus wetlands, and the water flow/stormwater management on the property.

Davidson hired Kimley Horn, an engineering firm, to provide a geotechnical assessment of the dam integrity and dam maintenance costs, water quality assessments and a hydrologic analysis of water flow on the property. The engineering study, expected to be completed this month, will provide information needed for a recommendation.

Results of the study, along with a proposed park design based on public input and task force research, will be available at the Feb. 19 meeting to be held 5:30-7:30 p.m. at town hall.

For more information, visit www.townofdavidson.org/parkatbeaty.

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