Questions for the Mayor’s transition committee on housing

The Mayor’s transition committee is holding a citizen forum on Oct. 16.   I can’t seem to find out what plan it is they want the public to hear about.  Rather it sounds like its a forum to get input on “what should go into a plan”.

Listening to random citizens pretty much guarantees you’ll get random comments.   That’s not a great way to build a plan

I would have gone in with something like the following.

The Mayor’s Goals

  • Trenton has a goal of building or significantly rehabbing 1000 homes in 1000 days.
  • Today we have a total  27,500 residences in Trenton.   10,000 are owner occupied and 17,500 are rentals.
  • Our goal is to increases this number to 28,500 residences where 11,000 are owner occupied and 17,500 are rentals

Additionally we have a goal of increasing Trenton’s tax base by $200,000,000.  That’s an average of $200,000 per home.  This is higher than Trenton’s current average but significantly lower than the average home price for Mercer County.

To this end, the City of Trenton will:

  • Make available Trenton’s current inventory of city owned homes,
  • Provide assistance in clearing title to abandoned homes and property currently with liens,
  • Expedite zoning, permit and inspections approvals through a special process set up to accomplish this goal
  • Make available subsidies of 10% of the value of a project over $100,000
  • Offer a 5 year tax abatement

The City of Trenton’s  1000 Home jump start program is seeking

  • Residential housing developers seeking to build market rate housing
  • Bank qualified Individual homeowners seeking to build or buy a home
  • Architects, General Contractors and Contractors seeking to work with buyers and developers in Trenton

The ask for the public should be

  • Are there any questions?
  • How can they help promote the plan? (through social media,  marketing program,  bounties)
  • Would a neighborhood like to become part of a neighborhood enhancement program to make itself more attractive for buyers in this program (clean-ups, marketing, street repair, aggressive crime enforcement, identification of suitable properties)
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