Wednesday, April 1, 2015

LHENA Loans: The Ongoing Saga

For the previous installment of the LHENA Loans Saga see this post.

Here's the new proposal from last month's board meeting, which completely disregards the spirit of what was done in November. All the "free" money (0%, forgivable), and the resistance of some folks to placing income restrictions on that free money, is something I have always found puzzling. It occurred to me today to do the math on the distribution of housing money broken down by building size.

Houshold data from

I often point out that we're an 80%-plus renter neighborhood. Of course, some of those renters live in 1-4 unit buildings (duplexes, triplexes, etc). But 68% of people in Lowry Hill East live in buildings containing more than four units, and that number includes a lot of homeowners living in condos. Despite this, only 21% of housing money is going specifically to buildings larger than four units.

Here's another odd number: among the funds ($500,814) devoted to 1-4 unit buildings, $166,943 is forgivable. Even this smaller slice of forgivable money is more (by $8) than the total amount ($166,935) set aside for buildings larger than four units.

In addition to the problem of unbalanced allocation, I still say owners of historic, half-million-dollar Healy mansions should have to pay the money back at 3% like the rest of the neighborhood. If you agree, come to tonight's LHENA meeting: 7 PM, Jefferson media center.

Post-Meeting Update: "Historic Preservation Loans" were changed to reflect November's community vote. They will be paid back over 10 years at 0% interest.