City's first Housing Advisory Committee to form <br><i>New HAC's first organizational meeting to be June 13</i>

"The Cottonwood Housing Strategy recognizes that a sense of community often comes with the pride of homeownership. While the 1990s were a time of economic prosperity for many, in Cottonwood the homeownership rate actually declined."

The strategy committee noted key strategies for achieving increased homeownership:

• Promoting multi-family homeownership opportunities, to take advantage of current zoning and economies of scale.

• Ensuring adequate land is zoned for manufactured housing.

• Identifying mechanisms to encourage in-fill development and neighborhood revitalization.

"A balanced mix of quality housing affordable to households at many income levels is the next step in ensuring long-term community viability," noted the strategy committee.

"Seniors and those employed in the health-care industry are key factors in Cottonwood's economy," the committee further noted.

"The housing strategy seeks to build on the city's economic-development plan by ensuring that the demand for housing by these groups is understood and adequately addressed."

Regarding the HAC, the strategy committee stated that "Forming a committee to oversee implementation of the housing strategy is a first step toward successful completion of the identified actions."

The housing strategy's action plan has these stated goals:

1. Increase the rate of homeownership in Cottonwood.

2. Revitalize Cottonwood neighborhoods.

3. Encourage a regional approach to planning for and developing multi-family and rental opportunities.

4. Encourage the development of rental opportunities for larger families and moderate-income households.

5. Support the development of shelter and transitional housing.

6. Coordinate economic and housing development planning, policy and actions.

7. Organize to address housing conditions.

Here's how the new HAC is to operate in the city-government framework:

The city council "shall set policies and provide policy-related guidance."

The city's Design Review Board "shall ensure the housing strategy is implemented when reviewing development in areas with current zoning."

The city's Planning and Zoning Commission "shall ensure the housing strategy is implemented when rezoning or other approvals are requested."

And finally, city staff members "shall ensure that policy and actions are appropriately implemented."

The new, appointed Cottonwood Housing Advisory Committee (HAC) is to begin meeting this fall, and is to meet "at least twice annually thereafter."

By December, using 2000 U.S. Census data, the city "shall update the housing strategy and within six months incorporate new findings into this action plan."

In summer 2003, and biannually thereafter, the HAC "shall review and update the Cottonwood Housing Strategy."

The HAC formation and the city's current housing strategy resulted from months of efforts by the strategy committee.

On March 19, the city council approved the final draft of the city's housing strategy and the HAC formation, and adopted a fair-housing policy. The actions followed the creation last year of a new state Housing Department.


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