by Ariel Guillory
Officials from the City of Takoma Park’s Housing and Community Development Department held a Housing and Economic Development Strategic Plan Listening Session last night where residents offered their opinions on what could be done to improve housing issues in the community.
“We are working on the analysis of various data resources and have recently conducted an online survey for residents designed to solicit input on a variety of housing and economic topics,” said Sara Anne Daines, the director of housing and community development. “Tonight’s listening session is intended to provide community members with an additional opportunity to weigh in on housing and economic development issues.”
Daines, along with development managers Ashley Johnson-Hare and Rosalind Grigsby, presented the City Council-approved strategic plan to offer a range of housing options to people of varying incomes in Takoma Park, and provided a timeline of when certain steps of the process will occur.
According to Grigsby, the city of Takoma Park is recognized by the state of Maryland as a sustainable city, which makes it eligible for several state funded grants that assist in developing and improving the economic outlook of the city.
Attending residents of Takoma Park were given the opportunity to offer suggestions about what could be done to improve some of the housing issues in the community.
One person suggested offering tax breaks to homeowners whose homes fall under the category of owner-occupied group homes, or single-family dwellings occupied by the owner and one or more nonrelated individuals who pay rent and utilities for accommodations.
Another suggested that the city of Takoma Park offer housing to refugees, pointing to Silver Spring as a model.
The panel extended an invitation to community members to send emails with further suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment with their suggestions on the Facebook live stream of the listening session below.