The City Council approved the plan for a second attempt at making the old Regency Inn into a permanent supportive housing facility by a unanimous vote at the Tuesday, May 23 special meeting.
Before the council meeting that began at 5:30 p.m. in the Katie Dorsett Council Chamber, the City Council held a work session on the plan to contract with Step Up on Second Inc. to acquire, renovate and operate the old Regency Inn as a permanent supportive housing facility with 57 units for people who are chronically homeless.
According to Tod Lipka, president of Step Up on Second Inc., who spoke at the meeting via Zoom, Step Up, which is a nonprofit organization based in California, operates 25 of these motel conversions across the country.
The $3 million that the city has already invested in purchasing the old Regency Inn will be converted to a loan to Step Up that will be forgiven after the facility has been in operation for 20 years.
One of the more interesting aspects of the proposed plan is that Lipka said that Step Up estimated the cost of renovation of the Regency Inn at $3 million. Under the previous plan by Partnership homes, the estimated cost of renovation was $10 million.
There were no questions at the work session about how Step Up was going to be able to renovate the old Regency Inn for less than a third of the cost estimated by Partnership Homes in 2021.
The resolution to contract with Step Up was on the agenda for the Tuesday, May 16 City Council meeting, but councilmembers had so many questions about the plan that the item was continued to the May 23 meeting.
Councilmember Zack Matheny seemed to have the most questions at the May 16 meeting, and at the work session Matheny said he had met with City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba, Director of the Housing and Neighborhood Development Department Michelle Kennedy and Lipka for about an hour and was now “comfortable” with the plan to provide permanent supportive housing.
If you want to know what a professional Poly looks like, see the above photo.
Looks like there is mucho dinero available for the GPD.
3 million, 10 million, who knows? Dealing with a company based in California, are you kidding me?
The Housing First model has been proven MANY times over to be cost effective from a financial standpoint. Since chronically homeless people use an outsized amount of city services per individual in by way of police department, emergency room and so many metrics like rehabilitation centers/mental health crisis calls. It’s a far better idea to place these people in a supervised place where they can get the centralized assistance for their myriad issues, plus resolving the housing problems too. It’s compassionate and fiscally smart TOO! Win-win on both sides of the equation!
Follow the money! Going from thirteen million dollars to six million dollars seems an insurmountable difference.
Just a small question how was this organization selected without an RFP or a posting about the bid process.isn’t that the normal process to spend OUR tax dollars. Please council it’s not YOUR MONEY
How about it Ms. Hightower. I see nothing about your favorite topic mwbe in all these talks with this company.
The only way that the new housing will work is if the residents do the labor in return for their housing.
Why is it that the waste water treatment plants always smell better than anything Kennedy is attached to? Anyone else find it odd that they’re contracting with a California company & Kennedy is from California? Hell, I don’t suppose it smells any worse than: Funding Cure The Violence, that time a new county department was created for Bencini’s brother to run and it did absolutely nothing, or that time Steve Arnold sold the county a worthless building for over 10 times its value while he was still on the board. There’s $#!+ in politics on all sides. It’s our civic duty to scoop it up & throw it out. I’m all for helping the homeless, but keep the government and tax dollars out of it & anything else you don’t want messed up!
Keep voting for this mess & you’ll soon be standing in line for toilet paper & food rations like the Soviets in the 80’s!