Poway City Council meeting Friday to launch housing authority

By Steve Dreyer

The rapidly changing political landscape in Sacramento has convinced Poway city officials to hold a special City Council meeting Friday morning to fast-track the creation of a city housing authority.

The need to form the authority to defend against the taking by the state  of affordable housing funds has significantly increased in recent days, according to City Manager Penny Riley.

Just last week the council was told that a city housing authority would be convened only if Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to abolish local redevelopment agencies was adopted by the state Legislature.

Riley said Thursday morning that, based on what she is hearing out of Sacramento, the loss to the city of millions of dollars in local property tax revenues appears to be much more likely.

“It’s gone from a possibility to a probability,” Riley said.

Meeting March 1, the council voted 4-0 to form a city housing authority as a way to maintain control of its affordable housing programs, which are now handled by the city’s redevelopment agency. The council adopted a resolution declaring the need for the agency, noting there are waiting lists for each of the city’s housing  programs. Without the agency, ownership of the redevelopment agency’s low- and moderate-income housing developments, plus about $6 million in unspent housing money, would likely be transferred to the San Diego County Housing Authority, the council was told.

During the special meeting to be held at 7:30 a.m. Friday in the council chambers, council members will be asked to activate the housing authority, select officers, determine when and where to meet and set up procedures and rules. They will also be updated on the ongoing budget battle in Sacramento.

   
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