Gainesville town hall to address affordable housing

At-large Gainesville City Commissioner Reina Saco will host a one-hour virtual town hall meeting at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday (March 30) to discuss current issues, including upcoming changes to rental property rights and affordable housing. She also will provide a brief update about COVID-19 vaccinations in Gainesville.

“The issues we’ll be covering include the expanded rights and protections granted to renters because of the city’s rental permit program,” Saco said. “As well as the legal rights struggling renters have via emergency orders.

“On the housing side, we will cover some of the projects the city has allocated funds for like the preservation and restoration of heir’s properties, allowing for the construction of accessory dwelling units, and reviewing our code to correct exclusionary housing practices.”

Gainesville City Commissioner-at-large Reina Saco

Saco said she thinks Gainesville is trying a variety of processes to deal with the issues of safe and affordable housing.

“We are using well-tested directives and some more unique and innovative programs to combat inequity,” she said. 

Joining Commissioner Saco for the event will be City Manager Lee Feldman and local attorney Mikel Bradley from Three Rivers Legal Services.

Neighbors are invited to call in with questions by dialing the toll-free public participation line at 1-800-876-7516.

Neighbors can listen in by phone by dialing 1-301-715-8592, and entering Meeting ID: 891 0841 4934.

The town hall will be streamed live on Facebook, the City of Gainesville website and on COX Cable Channel 12, and will be archived online.

Saco said she hopes the town hall will raise awareness to some of the programs available and the safety nets that are in place to support Gainesville residents.

“I think anyone and everyone should tune in,” she said. “But especially those who have worries about housing security.”

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