The Greensboro City Council is holding a work session devoted to affordable housing issues on Thursday, March 16 at 2 p.m.
Technically the meeting will be live streamed and the video available for the public to view. Actually, unless the city has upgraded the sound system, the public can watch the video but comprehending what is being said, and even who is speaking, is extremely difficult. The idea that with a $688 million budget the City Council can’t afford an adequate sound system for its work sessions is hard to fathom. One observer noted that a couple of 14-year-olds with smart phones could produce a better quality video of the work sessions.
At all day meetings on Feb. 2 and Feb. 3, the City Council set seven priorities.
One of the seven was, “Adequate supply of attainable housing options.” Since agreeing on those seven priorities, the City Council has spent an inordinate amount of time on the “housing options” priority compared to the time devoted to the other six.
For example, “Safest city” is another priority but the City Council has yet to hold a work session on how to put a stop to the ever increasing number of vacancies in the Greensboro Police Department.
At the March 7 City Council meeting, the longest discussion of the evening was on issues involving the homeless population and how the city needed to concentrate more on permanent housing and less on temporary solutions.
Director of Housing and Neighborhood Development Michelle Kennedy seems to have a permanent position at the podium during City Council meetings. The city has 18 department directors, but only one department director who is a former city councilmember, Kennedy, and it seems she speaks more at council meetings more than the other 17 combined.
The two items on the agenda for the March 16 work session are the “Homeowner Assistance Program” and “Land Banking and Land Trust Protocols,” both projects of the Housing and Neighborhood Development Department.