A council committee has agreed to earmark $3.5 million dollars in the upcoming budget to go toward affordable housing and homeless initiatives.
Before voting in favor of the plan, 10th District Councilman Harry Clarke said he has changed his stance on the topic that has been debated around the horseshoe for nearly 8 years.
Clarke said “It would be hard for me to vote on a four million dollar package for homelessness or affordable housing without a plan. And I’ve said that. I’ve said that to my constituents. I’m going to take that back, because I think this idea is so good that if we can put the money there, I’m willing to wait on the plan if we can do it this way.”
Nine of the ten committee members voted in favor of the proposal that includes setting aside funds of an estimated $10-million dollars surplus created by savings and additional revenue streams. Vice-mayor Linda Gorton agreed that if they put aside the funds, the plan would follow.
“It doesn’t bother me at all today, to vote on allocating the three million to the affordable housing fund and the $500 (thousand) to the homeless services. If we do that based on approving a plan forward and we did that just recently with the jobs fund. We exactly did that.” The vice-mayor went on to say this was the perfect way to seed these funds. “It does nothing to railroad any other action we would take in April or May in terms of dedicated funding. It just says…here’s some seed money, let’s get going.”
The measure must be approved by the full council and that vote is expected mid-April.