Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fair Share?

A visitor just threw out an interesting reference to the Fair Share Task Force, and that brings back a few memories...

Essentially, the Task Force was organized in response to concerns that Alexandria had taken on far more than its fair share of Northern Virginia's public and group housing. The Task Force not only confirmed this but also concluded that too much assisted housing was being concentrated in a handful of Census tracts in the City (including Census Tract 16, which encompasses Parker-Gray) and recommended dispersal into other areas of the City.

Here's just a few tidbits from the report, which the Task Force presented to City Council in March 1999.

"The Fair Share Task Force was charged with the mission to make recommendations for achieving a balanced, integrated City and avoiding over-concentrations (in assisted rental and special needs housing) ..." (Task Force Report, p. 3)
"Since the 1970s, the number of assisted housing units in the City has quadrupled from just over 1,000 units to over 4,000 by 1997." (Task Force Report, p. 4)
"Alexandria's per capita expenditures (from City, state and federal sources) for health and human services were $99.35 in FY 81, but by FY 96 these had increased to $424, an increase of 256%." (Task Force Report, p. 4)
"Alexandria has a significant amount of assisted and special needs housing compared to other area jurisdictions." (Task Force Report, p. 7)
"Assisted and special needs housing is not distributed evenly throughout the City." (Task Force Report, p. 7)
"The City's poverty rate and related social service demands are greater than other Northern Virginia jurisdictions." (Task Force Report, p. 8)
Among the Task Force's recommendations were the following:

"The City should support redevelopment projects that deconcentrate any low-income (subsidized or otherwise) rental housing in any of the six most concentrated Census tracts (as long as the redevelopment does not increase the overall number of assisted rental housing units in the City.) The City should give preference to mixed income projects with enhanced property management and resident services."
And this, under "Public Housing":

"The City should support the efforts of the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) to replace old, concentrated, large public housing projects with scattered site, smaller projects, and consider use of tenant-based Section 8 certificates/vouchers."
The City acknowledged these problems and proposed solutions years ago.

So why is all of this being forgotten today in the discussion on Adkins and Bland?