RDA Board Meeting
HOUSING ALLOCATION FUNDS POLICY: This is a follow up from a previous discussion about a proposal that would make some changes including formally adding in the Westside Community Initiative into this policy. I made a few comments about the WCI and signaled that the Community Land Trust component, which would create an affordable home ownership program, was my highest priority. We formally adopted these changes.
AMENDMENTS TO THE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT LOAN PROGRAM: We discussed some changes that would create an emergency loan program for the affordable housing projects facing emergency financial gaps. This discussion got into the weeds and we did not arrive at consensus today so this will come back for further discussion in a future board meeting.
Council Work Session Meeting
- COVID: All but 1 county is still in “high” transmission. Positivity rate is down to 31.1% and ICU utilization is down to 84%. 32 Deaths were reported today which is the highest number ever. Slight uptick in kids and teens getting vaccinated. Boosted and up to date in the county is only in the 30% range.
- COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: We saw a new slide today which is a list of all the projects the city is currently asking for public feedback on. This was a request from the council and we should be updated to include more items. I took a screenshot and will post that.
- HOMELESSNESS: HRC utilization has been at about 96%. Vehicle camping is happening twice a week. The Ramada Inn is still working to get fully operational.
- POLICE: Chief Brown talked to us about response times, staffing, officer pay, and community academy. The department has begun posting response times here: www.slcpd.com/open-data/response-times They continue to trend down. We have 38 vacancies and 47 recruits in the process. HR is looking into SLCPD pay vs. other departments. And Community Academy will begin again in March. More info here: www.slcpd.com/community-engagement/community-academy
EQUITY UPDATES: Kaletta Lynch brought updates on the REP Commission, Human Rights Commission, and the Citywide Equity Plan.
- RACIAL EQUITY IN POLICING: The REP Commission is hard at work moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2. They have rescheduled their meetings to the second Thursday of the month.
- HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION: We met from HRC Commissioners Esther Stowell and Jason Wessell who introduced us to the HRC’s mission of removing discrimination. The city’s HRC has formed into sub–committees who are looking into: Refugees and New Americans, CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women), Gentrification, and Homelessness.
- CITY-WIDE EQUITY PLAN: Finally Annette Humm Keen, who is a consultant working on our Equity Plan, gave us an update on that project. The ultimate goal of this is an evidence based 3 year plan for the city. They have been looking at data and feedback from throughout the city, both internally and externally. The top issues from survey respondents are affordable housing, homelessness, food security, etc.
FREE FARE FEBRUARY: This briefing was informational but there may be a future funding request. If you don’t know, this month public transit on the UTA system is free. Salt Lake City is receiving donations from several partners through the Salt Lake City Foundation to make this possible. The stated cost is $1.3 million.
REDISTRICTING UPDATE: The council sub-committee is halfway through their review of the applications and should have a recommendation to the overall council next week. We discussed what direction we will be giving to the committee as they draw their maps.
LIBRARY MASTER FACILITIES PLAN: This plan is a high level plan for what improvements and maintenance is needed throughout the city. Some of the major capital needs are: improvements needed at Day-Riverside and Anderson-Foothill branches, Main Library improvements and renovations, and a need for a new Ballpark/Liberty-Wells library. Additionally there is a high deferred maintenance need. The plan is estimated to cost about $10 million for deferred maintenance over the next 10 years. For the top 4 capital needs it is expected that there will be a need on the order of $80 million so funding options will be considered next.
BUDGET AMENDMENT NO. 6: This was a follow up briefing on BAM6. We started by talking about the housing and homelessness related items in the amendment. One great piece of information is that we will now have an additional $5 million + for rent relief. Check out the website https://rentrelief.utah.gov/. If you or someone you know is in need of this funding, please apply! We will discuss this again on Tuesday as well as receive public comment on it.
JOINT RESOLUTION ABOUT FOOD JUSTICE AND EQUITY: This was a presentation from Debbie Lyons from our Sustainability Department. Low income neighborhoods and neighborhoods with low access to healthy food are highly overlapped in our city. Over the last 2 years the city sustainability department leaned on a team of Residents to create a food advisor team. More information on this effort can be found here: https://www.slc.gov/sustainability/rfea-2020-2021/
STATE LEGISLATIVE BRIEFING: Kate Bradshaw updated us on 4 bills related to housing: SB 140 – HTRZs, HB 115 – Retail Incentives, Commission on Housing Affordability bill (unnumbered), and Station Area Plans (also unnumbered).