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Housing plan up for vote

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Council expected to approve plan

By Carol A. Clark

Los Alamos County’s Comprehensive Plan calls for housing “at a variety of price ranges so that firefighters, teachers, police, young people and elders can live comfortably in our community.”

The county council will consider an Affordable Housing Plan at its next regular session set for 7 pm. Tuesday in Council Chambers.

“The first draft of this plan was reviewed by council in July. It has been available for public comment since then at various venues such as the library and the county’s Web site,” said County Public Information Officer Julie Habiger. “Residents can still read the plan on our Web site and make comments between now and Tuesday’s meeting.”

The county currently has no affordable housing plan in place.

The first step will be for the council to adopt the plan and the next step will be to set goals for implementation, Habiger said.

One objective is to “regularly evaluate the amount, distribution and need for affordable and mid-range priced housing.” Another objective asks that the county “seek methods to qualify the county’s low and moderate-income households for federal affordable housing programs,” Housing and Projects Manager Steven Brugger said in a news release.

The plan accurately identifies specific affordable housing needs in the county and sets realistic goals for meeting those needs.

Once approved by the New Mexico Housing Finance Authority, the plan will qualify the county for receipt of state and federal subsidies for affordable housing programs.

The ordinance will establish the legal authorization for offering county assistance to non-government entities who want to help meet the county’s affordability goals.

The plan will outline the specific housing assistance programs that the county should pursue in the coming years, Brugger said.

The public is encouraged to attend and comment on the Affordable Housing Plan or email comments to the county at steven.brugger@lacnm.us before the meeting.

The meeting also will be broadcast live on PAC 8 television and streamed via the Internet through the PAC 8 Web site.