Cities around our area are trying to deal with our affordable housing issue – this is a recently pitched creative solution to encourage rehabilitation in Livingston.
City developing housing grant program
by Sean Batura Enterprise Staff Writer Apr 24, 2023
The city of Livingston is developing a residential rehabilitation grant program.
“The Residential Rehabilitation Grant Program is intended to provide a resource to encourage the rehabilitation of residential spaces within the Livingston Urban Renewal District,” reads an early version of the grant program guidelines.
The draft guidelines call for the city to reimburse program participants up to 50% of the total project costs with a maximum grant amount of $100,000. At least one board member said she wants the guidelines to specify how much weight the city will give projects depending on how many housing units are created.
The draft guidelines were reviewed by the Urban Renewal Agency board on April 19.
“This needs to be strengthened,” said URA Board Vice Chair Rick VanAken at the meeting. “Clarifications, definitions of terms.”Some members of the City Commission have been receptive to the idea of incentivizing the creation of downtown long-term housing. No commissioners have opposed it.“
I think taking advantage of existing infrastructure for an existing inventory in our downtown area makes a lot of sense for potential housing in our community,” said City Commissioner Torrey Lyons last month. “It has no additional environmental impacts. It’s relatively, in my opinion, a prudent use of taxpayer resources, so I think that’s very promising.”
City Commissioner Karrie Kahle said she’s excited about the possibility and said such a program could provide “workforce housing” and help business owners.
“I know there have been some audits done about empty spaces downtown, and so to be able to convert those into housing would be incredible,” Kahle said.