July 11, 2013

It’s crunch time for rentals

It’s crunch time for rentals
Council wary of GAIA plan

A request by Garrison’s economic development arm to ease the rental housing crunch in the community received a tepid response from city officials this past week.
To address the shortage of rental housing, Garrison Area Improvement Association officials asked the council to consider creating a special exemption, allowing rental housing at the city owned Northview Trailer Court. Presently, it is illegal for an owner to rent or sublease a mobile home.
Keith Witt, GAIA executive director, told the council GAIA recently purchased a former FEMA mobile home through a General Services Administration auction. The home is 14x44.
Witt said GAIA’s intent is to use the mobile home to provide low cost temporary housing for essential service workers in Garrison. Essential services personnel includes teachers, law enforcement or government workers. Witt stressed the intent is not to provide general housing, but temporary housing until the individual could find other local housing.
If and when a lack of affordable housing ceases to exist, Witt said GAIA would sell the mobile home and end its investment in providing the temporary rental housing option.
GAIA intends to pay the lot rent, making it an income source for the city as the trailer would fit on a lot that is likely to remain vacant due to its size.
The matter has been turned over to the city’s Mobile Housing Committee, Susan Steinwand and Chris Gratton. But it was the first time the council had heard of the proposal and it took them by surprise.

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