A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Council stymied in allocating housing cash

Written October 12th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

On Tuesday afternoon, here is the site on Waverly Drive where Creating Housing Coalition intends to build a cluster of 27 tiny houses.

The Albany City Council lacked sufficient votes Wednesday to allocate part of the $1 million the city got from the state to spend toward easing various housing problems including homelessness.

Several organizations had applied for the money.

Council members Marilyn Smith, Ray Kopczynski and Dick Olsen voted to give $350,000 to Creating Housing Coalition, the Albany group working to build “Hub City Village” of 27 tiny houses; $275,000 to Habitat for Humanity, which asked for help to build two single-family houses; and to leave the balance to be allocated later.

The city charter requires four votes to take any council action, so the move failed.

Councilwoman Matilda Novak voted “no.” She argued for granting the request of DevNW, a nonprofit with offices in Corvallis and other Oregon towns, which asked for $750,000 toward a multimillion-dollar project to build 40 houses in Albany.

Councilwoman Stacey Bartholomew recused herself from the discussion and the vote because she’s president of Creating Housing Coalition.

And Councilwoman Bessie Johnson was absent.

So the answer to the question of who will get how much of the million dollars the legislature sent to Albany last year will have to wait — until there are four votes for any particular course of action.

As always, the entire council session is available on YouTube here.

Bartholomew told me before the meeting that Creating Housing Coalition was waiting for various permits before completing its purchase of the lot at 241 Waverly Drive S.E. where it will build its tiny-house village.

The site has been fenced and partially cleared of brush. The coalition is preparing a land-use application to the city.

Bill Root, a coalition board member, told the council they hope to start building in 2023. (hh)




6 responses to “Council stymied in allocating housing cash”

  1. MarK says:

    Allocate the entire amount to improving our infrastructure. I’d consider that a major concern for our “housing problem”.

    • Bob Woods says:

      “…$1 million the city got from the state to spend toward easing various housing problems including homelessness.”

      That’s not infrastructure. You need to understand that almost all the money the City receives comes with “strings” about where or what it can be spent on.

      • MarK says:

        The lack of sufficient infrastructure due to and because of the increased housing isn’t an issue???

        • Bob Woods says:

          For a city “Infrastructure” are things like streets, electricity, parks, sewer systems, water systems and stormwater systems. Each one of those programs have sources of funding. Go look up the definition on Goggle.

          People have demanded for well over a century that the state and cities segregate money for specific things. It’s NOT like a family checkbook where you spend money wherever YOU want.

          Homelessness is a societal problem, but it’s not a “structure” used by the community as a whole.

  2. Debbie Moffat says:

    Work out the most dollar per home, including tiny homes. Seek to serve all of the community possible please. Maybe someone among you knows percents of how many in different household sizes are needing homes to help determine how many homes of what size to support. Many need homes and truly affordable ones.

  3. Bill Kapaun says:

    The first two words of your topic pretty much covers a multitude of articles you could write about this city.


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