Cville Council: Public Housing, Same-Sex Marriage Benefits, More
Charlottesville City Council
It was a packed agenda for Charlottesville City Council Monday night - same-sex marriage benefits, court renovation fees and new police cruisers were all up for discussion - but concerns about potential changes in public housing were the focus.
A number of people at the meeting were fired up about talks that the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority is considering a rental assistance program. Some say the program would alter public housing in the city.
The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) is a program that falls under HUD. The program has two components: one that allows public housing properties to convert to long-term Section 8 housing, and another that allows rent supplement properties to convert to tenant-based vouchers once their contracts expire.
Those who spoke out at the meeting say the program would be detrimental to public housing in the long term.
"To be very clear what RAD does is eliminate public housing in Charlottesville. Cut and dry," said Brandon Collins, who attended the meeting.
Jeffrey Fogel also opposes RAD. He said, "We should get away from the notion that we're going to be altering public housing and get back on the notion of ‘how are we going to develop the thousands of units of affordable housing this community needs in order to maintain its diversity?'"
Councilors say they want to find out more about the plan before anything is implemented. There is a meeting scheduled for 5:30 Thursday night at Westhaven to further discuss the issue.
Monday night, council also approved benefits for same-sex married couples who work for the city, funding for new police cruisers and court fees that will go toward modernizing Charlottesville Circuit Court.
Same-sex married couples who work for the city of Charlottesville will now be eligible for benefits. The ordinance approved will recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and extend them to partners of those who work for the city.
It won't, however, go into effect just yet. The final decision still lies in the hands of the courts or the General Assembly.
Also on the agenda Monday night were court fees. People who go to court in Charlottesville will soon be paying an extra fee to modernize the city's courthouse. Council voted to approve the $3 fee that is expected to bring in $24,000 a year. That money will go toward renovating Charlottesville Circuit Court and adding a second courtroom.
And Charlottesville police will soon be patrolling the streets in some new rides. Monday night council also approved $214,000 in funding for nine new cruisers and equipment. The money will be treated as an advance to the Police Department and repaid over the next three years.
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