Friday, January 18, 2013
Are LC Comm'rs Taking Aim at Affordable Housing Trust?
Jennings has sent an email asking people to speak up for this program.
Please do not put this aside without making sure you have placed this coming Wednesday, January 23, at 7:30 PM on your calendar.
That is the date and time of the next meeting of the Lehigh County Commissioners. The group who threatened to turn away federal funds that taxpayers had already paid and sent to Washington, that has turned away other grants, and is talking about abandoning the Green Future Fund that voters adopted by referendum by a margin of 2 to 1, is now proposing killing the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
This fund was adopted more than 20 years ago after the state gave counties the authority to raise fees to record deeds and mortgages from $13.50 each to $27 each. That’s right, someone buys a property for $300,000 and the county tacks on all of $27 for affordable housing efforts in the county. This fee is not a burden; nobody could credibly argue that it hurts a single transaction. But it generates approximately $300,000 per year to intervene in a hellacious economy that denies thousands and thousands of people access to the housing market. It was signed into law by a Republican county executive (Jane Baker) and embraced by Republicans and Democrats alike for all these years.
Tom Creighton is the commissioner who is leading the way. It is up to us to block that way. PLEASE do not take this lightly!
I look forward to a strong contingent to attend the January 23 meeting of the Commissioners.