Affordable Housing Reserve Fund On Selectboard Agenda
With the deadline looming to get matters on the November ballot, the Selectboard is scheduled to consider, at its meeting on August 22, an article asking voters to re-establish an affordable housing fund.
The draft measure recently emailed to the Selectboard reads as follows:
Shall the voters of the Town of Norwich re-establish a revolving Affordable Housing Reserve Fund with previously appropriated funds approved by Norwich voters to be distributed and administered according to a process adopted by the Selectboard in consultation with the Town Manager, the Norwich Planning Commission, and the Affordable Housing Subcommittee?
The draft in the Selectboard packet set a specific amount of $50,000. An $45,000 affordable housing fund had previously been established in 2012 but it expired. See Final Answer: Affordable Housing Fund Expired In 2017.* That money remains on the Town's books, plus some interest. Unlike the 2012 article, the one currently before the Selectboard does not expire.
I hope the Selectboard addresses what it intends in establishing a "revolving" fund. According to one source, disbursements from a revolving fund are expected to be eventually repaid/returned. See Free Dictionary, revolving fund. If applicable here, that parameter could limit the Selectboard discretion on the use of the affordable housing reserve fund.
A hat tip to Norwich resident Stuart Richards who has diligently pushed for the reestablishment of the affordable housing fund.
* The article approved by voters in 2012 reads as follows:
Shall the voters of the Town of Norwich appropriate $45,000 to recreate a revolving fund to initiate contracts to acquire land suitable for affordable housing, such amount being reasonably necessary for the support of programs to benefit Town residents? This money will be returned to the General Fund at the end of five years.