Only Time Will Tell If City Gets Its Money’s Worth Out Of Proposed JURA Housing Deputy Director

Creating a new deputy director position in the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency to focus on housing is an easy decision.

Additional grant money that allows some of the grant to be used for administration will pay for the position, at least temporarily. If the position proves itself worthwhile, Jamestown officials will face a decision of how to pay for the position in the future if grant money dries up in the years to come.

The most pressing question the city will face is how to get the best use from the housing position. It is obvious that what the city has done in its recent history to address housing isn’t working, but does a new position address the issues or merely give the appearance of action in an election year? A lot of good work has been done by nonprofits on housing in the past, but little has been done with that work either due to lack of investment or lack of political will when push came to shove.

Fixing the worst of the city’s housing is not going to be cheap, nor will it be accomplished without tensions rising between the city and property owners who are being held more accountable for the properties they own. In the past the city has largely backed down. Will it do so now? Will the city take big swings or continue to nibble around the edges of the housing issues it faces?

Those are the $64,000 questions, not the actual creation of the position.


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