Feds: Palmetto won't receive housing authority money

jdeleon@bradenton.comApril 1, 2013 

PALMETTO -- Palmetto officials may move forward with creating the city's own housing authority if funding can be found and a board appointed.

But the federal government is not going to pay for it.

"I don't want you tohave any false expectations that we will fund yourhousing authority. If youdo it you have to be pre-pared to go it alone," said Karen Jackson Sims, U.S. Department of Housingand Urban Development deputy regional administrator.

The Palmetto City Commission listened to Sims' presentation at a workshop Monday before its regular meeting.

The commissioners discussed ways to create a housing authority without federal funds.

"There is a lot of frus-tration that we have setup a housing authorityand not a board yet," Vice Mayor Tambra Varnadore said.

The Palmetto Commission voted Nov. 5, 2012, to establish a city housing authority. Under Florida statutes, however, a city can create a housing authority, which becomes its own entity. But the city is not legally required to fund the housing authority.

Sims presented options the city may pursue if it decides to seek money for affordable housing with or without its own housing authority. No funding amount was discussed.

Sims and the commission, with the input from staff and Community Re-development Agency Direc-tor Jeff Burton, discussed ways to move forward ifthe city still wants to cre-ate its own housing authority.

"You have to know what your housing market is," Sims said. "What the need is, what the gap is."

Burton said the CRA would be more than willing to help.

"Two key words in the goals of CRA are affordable housing," Burton said. "We all know there are some housing problems in the city and they need to be fixed."

Jessica De Leon, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411, ext. 7049.

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