I am really impressed with the detail and analysis contained in this report. All of the recommendations in this report are quite conservative and easily implemented. Robert Hickey of Grounded Solutions engaged a wide range of stakeholders to ensure accuracy of the data.
The net of the policy is that if implemented this would create and additional 920 units of affordable housing between now and 2030. Because the requirements are so mild, and the assumptions so conservative I believe that actual number might be much higher. Not that this is over and above all other types of affordable housing projects that occur in the community.
I went out of my way to ensure likely dissenting voices would be included in the process. Both Jeanie DeWitz and Keith Cousins were involved in the process. They did provide significant value in correcting some assumptions, but the Rochester Area Builders have already come out opposed to the plan.
The time to move on affordable housing is now. The council is likely to be divided as it was when we funded this report at the time there were essentially 3 opposed to pursuing an inclusionary zoning ordinance, Mark Hickey, Randy Staver, Ed Hruska. I don’t think you should write them off, however it is critically important that the other 4 council members support the recommendations as recommended.
We hired a national expert on mixed income housing to be an independent voice. That independent voice told us quite clearly that voluntary policies do not work. Understanding this to always be controversial, he recommended a relatively mild set of recommendations. It is important that not only 4 members support implementing the plan, but also do so in such a way that the plan is not watered down. This can not be viewed as a solution to all our problems, but rather a critical step in the right direction.