How many times can the Greensboro City Council spend the same $3 million?

The answer to that question according to the report from Director of the Greensboro Housing and Neighborhood Development Department Michelle Kennedy is at least twice.

Kennedy gave a report at the City Council work session on Thursday, Oct. 27 about a new plan to provide permanent supportive housing.  She said that the $3 million the City Council approved as a loan Partnership Homes for the purchase of the Regency Inn and Suites in November 2021 would be used to pay for support services under the new program with a new partner.

There was no explanation of how the $3 million loan made to Partnership Homes was going to be returned to the city, or how the loan was going to make the transformation into funds that could be spent for services and not the purchase of real estate.  Kennedy said that Partnership Homes currently owned the Regency Inn.

It wasn’t mentioned that only $2.75 million of the loan was for the purchase of the Regency Inn, which appraised at $2.4 million.  The $3 million loan also covered other costs including $40,000 for repair and cleanup, $75,000 for architectural design, testing, surveying, attorney’s fees, inspection, insurance, a phase 1 environmental report as well as a $100,000 administrative fee for Partnership Homes, $8,500 for furnishings and equipment and $66,000 for other expenses.

Regency Inn was used as an emergency shelter last winter and the plan is to use it as an emergency shelter this winter also.  But according to Kennedy, the entire $3 million loan to Partnership Homes is available to pay Step Up America, the organization that Kennedy currently plans for the city to partner with to provide permanent supportive housing for the homeless.

Kennedy said that Step Up America planned to provide permanent supportive housing for 175 people in Greensboro and the cost to the city would be about $6,000 per person per year to pay for services.  The $3 million that the city loaned to Partnership Homes would, according to Kennedy, be used to pay Step Up America for three years of services for the 175 people in permanent supportive housing.

Councilmember Sharon Hightower asked how the $3 million was going to be converted from the loan to Partnership Homes to payment for services to Step Up America.

Kennedy said, “We haven’t hammered out the best legal route to take yet.”