Livability - Discussion Forums

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To the right, you can find a summary document of your input so far on issues related to how livable Kansas City is.

Below are discussion forums on livability topics that you have provided input on so far. This page will be updated as needed throughout the comprehensive plan update process.

To the right, you can find a summary document of your input so far on issues related to how livable Kansas City is.

Below are discussion forums on livability topics that you have provided input on so far. This page will be updated as needed throughout the comprehensive plan update process.

Discussions: All (6) Open (6)
  • Setting

    5 months ago
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    CHARACTER

    • Maintain our balanced combination of big city amenities (arts, entertainment, cuisine, sports) and small-town atmosphere (affordable, comfortable, clean, unpolluted, uncrowded, uncongested, easy to get around, quiet, friendly, welcoming, quaint, down to earth, unintimidating in scale)
    • Develop in ways that retain our atmosphere as a collection of villages
    • Preserve the positive characteristics, variety, and uniqueness of our city and its neighborhoods
    • Avoid building too much of the same thing
    • Avoid excessive copying of what other cities do
    • Get inspiration for livability from the Northland, River Market, Columbus Park, Power and Light, Crossroads, Volker, Plaza, Brookside, Waldo, and South KC
    • Maintain our relatively low level of bureaucracy, and high levels of manageability, accountability, transparency, and feedback

    RESIDENTS

    • Maintain our good mix of families, students and senior citizens
    • Have staff meet with residents inclusively on a regular basis to discuss current and long-range planning, and to develop detailed plans which show developers what residents want
    • Put the desires of neighborhood residents ahead of those of private developers
    • Develop based upon our needs, desires, characteristics and strengths
    • Plan equitably in recognition of differing opportunities, resources and baselines
    • Grant incentives to improve the quality of life in areas of greatest need

    DEVELOPMENT FORM

    • Develop transit nodes connected by corridors of development
    • Prioritize infill development on undeveloped or underdeveloped land
    • Keep development accessible, but not overcrowded or congested
    • Center neighborhoods around shops, restaurants, cafes, services, libraries, community centers, parks, etc.
    • Grant incentives to reconnect disrupted neighborhoods

    ATTITUDES

    • Maintain our neighborhood-centered and people-centered outlook and vision
    • Keep the city livable through vision achieved by dedication, patience, and willingness to transfer matters to new generations
    • Sustain our traditional Midwestern values, but become somewhat more progressive and less provincial
    • Sustain and build upon the pride Kansas Citians have in their city and their commitment to ongoing progress
    • Create deeper connections and relationships with people across the entire city
    • Continue and enhance our high level of familiarity with our neighbors, fellow customers and business owners; caring about others, courtesy, appreciation, cooperation, charity, community spirit, participation in community affairs, volunteering, and public service; or conversely, self-sufficiency, libertarianism, and a culture of the haves vs. the have nots
    • Support those severely affected by the pandemic through job loss, illness, etc., and generally treat people better under the realization that we must all be responsible for each other
    • Better appreciate and take care of the small things in life following the pandemic
    • Make use of our great work ethic, willingness to listen, resilience, talent, creativity, and innovation

    LIFESTYLE

    • Serve the lifestyle choice for dense, vibrant, unique, walkable, mixed-use development with nearby shopping, services, restaurants, bars, and entertainment; with alternative modes of transportation, allowing a car-less lifestyle for those desiring it
    • Serve the lifestyle choice for spread out, almost entirely residential neighborhoods with convenient connections by car to other uses, and ample parking opportunities in most places
    • Serve the lifestyle choice for intimate communities with front proches, walking trails, limited through the streets, and communal support and oversight for elderly neighbors 
    • Be prepared for climate change to necessitate living very basic lifestyles, serviced locally/regionally, and a much smaller economy
    • Maintain Kansas City as a great place to raise a family, and involve business and government in doing so
    • Maintain Kansas City as a great place for young adults, or conversely, deal with its being an unappealing place for them
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  • Neighborhood Features

    5 months ago
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    MIXED USE

    • Create “whole" neighborhoods that provide housing, transportation, social interaction, public and private services, recreation and green space, arts, education, and public and private institutions
    • Reduce or remove certain zoning to allow neighborhoods to reshape themselves into self-sustaining, mixed-use communities
    • Upzone appropriate locations for more transit-oriented development

    HOUSING

    • Create mixed-income neighborhoods with diverse housing options and without repetitive subdivisions
    • Make available housing features that have become in greater demand, such as home offices and accessory dwelling units
    • Balance appropriately owned and rented housing, and housing with various sizes, forms, features, maintenance or other services, recreational facilities, gardens, and other green space
    • Upzone for more middle density housing/walkup apartments
    • Allow flexibility in minimum lot widths for infill housing
    • Deal with the acquisition of housing by speculators, large corporations, and management firms intending to greatly increase rents
    • Develop healthy landlord/tenant communication and coordination
    • Provide or retain safe, stable housing by rewarding landlords that take care of their properties and prosecuting those who don't, supplying good management, and reducing evictions, particularly evictions due to job losses during the pandemic 
    • Provide housing alternatives which allow residents to age in place
    • Supply and subsidize good quality, affordable, entry level homes, with a full range of options regarding numbers of bedrooms and green space nearby 
    • Encourage more Downtown housing for families with children
    • Provide affordability priced and appropriately designed elderly housing of all types (including options for ranch homes, assisted living, memory care, and granny flats) in close proximity to amenities (recreation, shopping, health support, etc.)

    COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT

    • Maintain the high proportion of small, locally owned stores
    • Patronize local and small businesses and assist them to survive economic hardships (temporary closure, fewer customers, loss of customers to online sales or development of DIY skills) due to the pandemic
    • Adapt to workers’ growing desire to work from home, to have cleaner workplaces, to have more work space, or to have better personalized work space following the pandemic
    • Retain, and encourage creation of, corner shops, occupied storefronts, and shops on the first floor of high-rise buildings
    • Create more department stores, vibrant markets, sophisticated shopping, legal dispensaries, and shops open on Sunday
    • Preserve shopping malls, particularly as attractions for teenagers
    • Stop creating shopping malls
    • Suit any altered consumer preferences due to the pandemic, desiring less crowded stores and services, with more outdoor space, easy pickup, and contact-free services
    • Provide good quality, affordable grocery stores throughout the city, particularly in current “food deserts”, possibly through public/private partnerships
    • Bring shopping back Downtown

    PUBLIC SPACES

    • Make public spaces more human-friendly
    • Create more gathering places with seating, tables, greenery, shops, cafes, street life and activities
    • Fulfill a likely desire lingering from the pandemic for more, uncrowded, or adaptable outdoor activity space in which to live, work, play and learn
    • Create more parks, courtyards or other improved public space Downtown, and join them to each other and to spaces in other neighborhoods

    INFRASTRUCTURE 

    • Equitably maintain current streets, sewers, water lines, utilities, communication systems, and other infrastructure against the ravages of age, wear and tear, and climate change
    • Separate combined sewers
    • Implement ecologically sound green infrastructure by government and by individuals
    • Guide City infrastructure investment away from developer driven priorities to planned development which encourages density, redevelopment of existing areas, and protection of stream corridors
    • Avoid developing high-capacity highways with heavily polluting vehicles through existing neighborhoods
    • Deal with flooding through constructing infrastructure, modifying topography, curbing sprawling development, controlling runoff, retaining groundwater, enhancing ground permeability through taxing impervious surfaces or other means, enforcing stream setbacks, planting rain gardens and native plants with longer roots, and actively managing stream corridors

    FACILITIES/SERVIES

    • Provide more services and improve service execution, (e.g. snow removal, trash pickup, speed limit enforcement)
    • Lower water rates
    • Increase water pressure
    • Reuse vacant churches for community centers, food kitchens, etc.
    • Provide more community centers, particularly North of the River
    • Remove breed-specific bans on pets
    • Assist people in dealing with destructive squirrels, raccoons, etc.
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  • Neighborhood Transportation

    5 months ago
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    GENERAL

    • Ease transportation within and between neighborhoods
    • Prevent the need to travel long distances by locating necessities -- like full service, reasonably priced grocery stores -- in residential areas needing them
    • Make wayfinding easy through signage and the layout of streets

    STREETS

    • Create complete streets whose auto transportation role is balanced with other transportation modes, greenery, amenities (such as benches, lighting, music speakers) and features that enhance neighborhood livability
    • Enforce or reduce speed limits
    • Provide traffic calming features
    • Implement road diets 
    • Reduce construction traffic on residential streets
    • Sweep streets to remove dangerous and unsightly trash, grit, sand, and glass; which is especially hazardous for cyclists
    • Supply more street lighting in the Northland
    • Stop people walking or other inappropriate movement on streets

    WALKABLE AREAS

    • Create walkable neighborhoods for people of all types, where stores, services, facilities and amenities visited frequently can be reached conveniently on foot
    • Provide walkable connections to adjacent neighborhoods
    • Create pedestrian only areas, either occasionally or on a permanent basis, particularly in Downtown, in shopping areas, and in entertainment areas
    • Increase foot traffic where it would add vibrancy or a feeling of safety
    • Take advantage of the increase in recreational walking during the pandemic to encourage its continuance and improvements in neighborhood walkability

    PEDESTRIAN INFRASTRUCTURE

    • Provide a more complete, connected system of curbs, sidewalks and crosswalks, partly by requiring developers to provide them
    • Widen sidewalks where pedestrian traffic is heavy
    • Repair or replace deteriorated curbs and sidewalks
    • Where there are no sidewalks, at least make walking safer, including reducing hazardous ditches
    • Make street crossings and traffic light settings more pedestrian friendly
    • Supply walkways with good lighting, benches, public art and native plantings
    • Provide skywalks, underground passageways, and shade from trees or buildings to protect from unpleasant weather
    • Make spaces under highway overpasses into pedestrian/bike thoroughfares

    BIKES/SCOOTERS

    • Make jobs, education, healthcare, retail, parks, libraries and other amenities safely reachable by bike/scooter through infrastructure design and construction, regulations, and land use planning
    • Expand citywide a system of dedicated bike/scooter lanes and paths, preferably ones which are totally separated from conflicting modes
    • Provide bike share facilities
    • Implement the Bike Plan, at least gradually, while giving due respect to existing neighborhoods and traffic patterns
    • Take advantage of the increase in biking during the pandemic to encourage its continuance and improvements in bikeways

    STREETCAR

    • Maintain and expand the Streetcar to continue its great contribution to tight community feeling

    PARKING

    • Provide parking spaces to meet all proposed demand, or, conversely, remove parking minimums and apply the unused space and money to create more dense, vibrant development or more green space
    • Provide bike/scooter parking where there is a desire for it
    • Stop people from parking in driveways in ways that block sidewalks
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  • Stabilization & Revitalization

    5 months ago
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    BLIGHT

    • Prevent blight and discourage crime by keeping neighborhoods clean, well-maintained, and free of litter, illegal dumping, vandalism and graffiti
    • Educate citizens about how to maintain their homes
    • Take advantage of the increase in fixing up homes during the pandemic to encourage its continuance and assist those who do it
    • Enforce the property maintenance code
    • Improve conditions in blighted areas to the same quality as in other areas
    • Grant incentives for development that can reduce blight
    • Stabilize neighborhoods in sharp decline
    • Redevelop blighted areas where smaller rehabilitation efforts would be insufficient or infeasible
    • When redevelopment is infeasible and there is very little demand to locate in an area, let some of the area revert back to nature
    • Only grant incentives to blighted or disadvantaged areas, particularly for projects which are neighborhood-led or, at least, community-approved

    VACANCY

    • Prevent abandonment
    • Collaborate to restore empty/boarded up buildings
    • Grant incentives to develop new uses for vacant lots and excessive parking lots in the Urban Core
    • Discourage holding vacant properties idle which have great promise (e.g. with a holding fee)
    • Restore, rehabilitate, reuse, or replace with well-cared-for green space vacant, abandoned, or dilapidated buildings or lots, including those along the Blue River, particularly as alternatives to tearing buildings down
    • Tear down abandoned buildings which have had a blightening effect for a long time and for which rehabilitation/reuse is not feasible

    GENTRIFICATION/DISPLACEMENT

    • When redeveloping or making major improvements to a neighborhood, avoid gentrification/displacement by including plans and resources to allow existing residents and occupants to remain in the neighborhood
    • If displacement does occur and it pushes lower income people to farther out areas, respond to their changing needs for transit, services and facilities

    CLEANLINESS

    • Clean water features, illegal dumping sites, bus stops, curbside landscaping areas, and vacant lots
    • Enhance clean-up efforts by engaging neighborhoods, centralizing organization online, paying persons to conduct them, using people on probation, and providing community service credit to young people
    • Ensure clean air

    TRASH

    • Improve trash collection by changing the 2-bag limit, using curbside trash cans instead of bags, securing trash on windy days, having trash collectors be more careful when they collect trash, reworking trash and bulky item pickup, providing opportunities for people who assist with collection, or simply going back to unlimited trash pickup
    • Foster recycling by educating about it, encouraging it, offering incentives, making it easier to recycle plastic bags, supplying curbside glass recycling, providing dedicated bins at more locations, and making recycling sites more pleasant to visit (e.g. setting up electronic tally boards to display running totals of volumes of recycling)
    • Provide fuller, clearer, and more up-to-date information about waste disposal site locations, what they accept, and what their hours are
    • Provide more frequent yard waste pickup
    • Discourage illegal dumping by picking up, or creating legitimate disposal sites for, construction waste and other types of solid waste, creating a comprehensive plan to deal with it, collecting greater volumes of it, doing it more frequently, and punishing dumpers by making them work at legitimate waste disposal sites
    • Change the culture of dumping and littering
    • Reduce litter by building a stronger sense of community, generating less waste, picking up litter we encounter in our daily lives, more public trash receptacles, emptying them more often, “Don’t Litter” signs, regular maintenance, street sweeping, and a multi-step plan for accomplishing anti-litter endeavors

    DISRUPTION

    • Reduce ethnic and income segregation and discrimination in employment, business, housing, education, justice, and civil rights
    • Reduce crime, police malfeasance, vandalism, rioting, and looting
    • Curb excessive noise from wild drivers, motorcycles, ATV’s, mowers, blowers, trimmers, and loud music and gatherings
    • Enforce codes against parking on lawns

    EAST KC

    • Strengthen the foundation for East Side development by improving economic opportunities and the quality of life there
    • Proactively perform East Side development, including technology companies, other businesses/industries, affordable housing, and development resulting from revising TIF policies
    • Provide the resources/investment needed for preserving, maintaining, rehabilitating, improving or redeveloping East Side neighborhoods
    • Confront and dismantle redlining and seek to reverse its longstanding impacts
    • Provide better physical access to jobs, education and services, including expanding the streetcar system into the East Side
    • Make the East Side an economic hub for the city
    • Provide more retail stores in the East Side
    • Provide good quality, affordable grocery stores in East Side food deserts and throughout the city
    • Produce and implement a comprehensive plan to improve education, healthcare, and safety in the East Side
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  • Entertainment & Recreation

    5 months ago
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    GENERAL

    • Sustain and enhance our big city amenities (arts, entertainment, cuisine, sports)
    • Expand the attractions we offer, including gardens, nearby natural settings (lakes, rivers, forests, caves), adventure entertainment, riverfront entertainment, and a major aquarium
    • Provide more nightlife, street life, quirky businesses, conventions, carriages, and attractions in Downtown, Crossroads and the Plaza
    • Add amenities and attractions to areas lacking them
    • Retain the ease of accessing music, sports, and other entertainment
    • Help major attractions, restaurants, taverns, artists, performing arts organizations, theaters, arenas, large attendance venues, event organizers, small businesses, and hospitality industry members (which help to draw tourists who help to pay for our entertainment) to survive the economic effects of the pandemic
    • Support local food, music and entertainment
    • Provide more cheap or free entertainment
    • Provide more entertainment focused individually on families, children, teenagers, and adults
    • Identify approaches to keep youths out of the criminal justice system
    • Adapt to any continuing tendencies to spend time with closest family/friends/neighbors, or conversely, to fulfill pent-up demand to resume socializing in person with those from whom one has been separated during the pandemic
    • Gear entertainment more toward what is desired by residents of the KC region, rather than what is desired by tourists

    CULTURE

    • Support culture and the arts by the City, large arts organizations, and small grassroots companies
    • Sustain the thriving arts scene in all disciplines (Jazz, concerts indoors and outdoors, other music, traditional and modern dance, fine art, street art, retail art, drama, library programs, other spoken word, multicultural arts, etc.), including at museums, galleries, art fairs, theaters, Downtown/Crossroads, and in other public locations
    • Continue cultural elements reflecting Kansas City and Midwestern traditions and values
    • Support artists’ ability to afford to live here
    • Support awareness of, respect for, and preservation of Kansas City’s history, particularly the leading role of the Kansas City/St. Joseph region in the settlement of the West
    • Restore the Office of Culture and Creative Services (OCCS)
    • Respect and celebrate the diverse cultures and ethnicities of Kansas City

    KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS

    • Ensure that all residents have access to high-speed Internet and the related computers, devices, and support, partly by expanding digital hotspots or giving incentives to internet providers to invest in digital deserts
    • Adapt to a lingering desire for leisure activities online following the pandemic
    • Make information available at libraries and through broadband internet access
    • Put more money into public schools’ arts and science curriculum

    FOOD & DRINK

    • Maintain our great variety of local restaurants and bars (BBQ, ethnic, contemporary, eclectic, coffee shop, craft beer, etc.)
    • Maintain the fresh, proficient feel of our renowned restaurants, instead of the exclusive feel of renowned restaurants in bigger cities
    • Maintain the convenience of having restaurants close to entertainment, and the variety of restaurants, bars, and food stores in walking distance of each other
    • Respond to the lack of enough ethnic restaurants, restaurants open on Sunday, waterfront dining, outdoor dining, and healthy restaurant options for food allergies, etc.
    • Create permanent food truck “lobbies” with covers and heat when needed
    • Adapt to any lingering preferences after the pandemic to pick up food or have it delivered instead of dining in

    EVENTS

    • Maintain our festivals, First Fridays, and homes showcase
    • Provide more neighborhood festivals and other events
    • Have the City organize or sponsor more events
    • Make it easier to learn about events

    VENUES

    • Maintain the variety of entertainment districts (River Market, Power & Light, Crossroads, Union Station, Westport, Crown Center, Plaza, Brookside, Waldo) each of which have their own character, but which are easily accessible to each other; or, conversely, dismantle entertainment districts
    • Prepare for a shift toward more community gathering and recreation spaces (parks, indoor rec facilities, Bar-K, volleyball, soccer, etc.), as well as food/beverage availability at those places
    • Integrate multiple leisure activities at individual entertainment/recreation/shopping venues, possibly including special events, or live or recorded music
    • Provide more markets, flexible outdoor space, and programmable space
    • Create nightlife in parks, with food and liquor carts, sitting areas, hammocks, and light displays
    • Make the Downtown waterfront a major venue for entertainment and recreation, possibly involving shopping, a marina, walkways, much more shade, or efforts to clean the water
    • Restore 18th and Vine as a vibrant neighborhood and entertainment district
    • Increase safety in the Westport entertainment district

    PARTICIPANT SPORTS

    • Maintain facilities for participant sports in parks
    • Continue opportunities for volleyball leagues and basketball games
    • Increase opportunities for tennis and other outdoor activities
    • Supply more pools and community centers in the Northland
    • Increase opportunities to swim safely in clean lakes, rivers and streams
    • Enhance recreational biking with bike parks and a path along the Missouri River
    • Expand our already great system of mountain biking trails
    • Improve existing playgrounds, and provide them in neighborhoods which lack them

    SPECTATOR SPORTS

    • Maintain our professional sports teams
    • Locate major stadiums Downtown, or conversely, keep them where they are
    • Improve Arrowhead
    • Sustain T-Mobile Center
    • Figure out and address the new normal following the pandemic 

    GREENERY

    • Retain existing trees
    • Replace trees where they once were, including those encountered during development
    • Improve the tree canopy for beauty, healthier air, and reduced urban heat island effect
    • Make concrete tree squares large enough for the trees to survive
    • Hire people to better maintain sidewalk cutouts and other areas with green/environmentally beneficial landscaping (native plants, grasses and trees)
    • Invest in urban agriculture, and use it to serve the food insecure, as well as for beautification, education, tourism, and volunteerism
    • Remove invasive species, and plant more native species
    • Create green spaces on roofs and walls
    • Preserve, restore, and grant incentives for greenspace
    • Cap Freeway Loop highways with greenspace
    • Trim overgrown or dead trees and bushes, and mow more often, especially vacant lots and along highways
    • Encourage and assist rainwater collection for irrigation

    NATURAL SETTINGS

    • Preserve in a relatively undisturbed manner wildlife and natural habitats, including landscapes which foster pollinators
    • Protect the natural landscape of rural areas
    • Make some natural settings, such as forests, cliffs and caves, venues for adventure sports
    • Make rivers and lakes suitable for leisure activities in the water and on shore
    • Protect existing scenic features and views
    • Protect rivers and streams from pollution and trash
    • Support the Blue River Action Plan

    TRAILS

    • Extend existing trails for walking and biking
    • Create a more connected system of trails
    • Improve the quality of nature trails for walking and biking
    • Clean and restore the Brush Creek/Blue River trail connection, and get the trash out of the water
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  • Affordability

    5 months ago
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    COST OF LIVING

    • Lower the cost of living
    • Provide affordable health care
    • Reduce the magnitude of fines for minor offenses among impoverished residents which, if paid, can have a devastating effect on net worth or ability to afford necessities of life, or, if unpaid, could result in suspension of driver's licenses and ability to travel to and retain jobs, or other dire consequences.
    • Create more regulations to prevent pay day loans/check into cash, and liquor stores in our poorer neighborhoods
    • Lower taxes

    INCOME & WEALTH

    • Reduce disparities in income, wealth and opportunity
    • Ensure living wages as a minimum standard, possibly through legislation
    • Raise the minimum wage
    • Deny tax abatements to employers who do not pay a living wage, or where the difference between CEO and worker salaries is extreme
    • Explore and test Universal Basic Income, or ongoing payments to lower- or middle-income families per child
    • Lobby for better wages and benefits for service workers
    • Recruit high-paying blue-collar employers
    • Expand financial capabilities through credit, financial services, and grants
    • Invest in and encourage homeownership in historically red-lined neighborhoods to provide generational wealth

    EMPLOYMENT

    • Assess and address limits to employment by unfair hiring practices and unnecessary qualifications
    • Reduce disparities in job benefits
    • Contribute to structural changes for contractors to provide them with benefits, worker protections, and healthcare
    • Help people connect with good, blue collar union jobs that offer training for a skill - plumbing, painting, electrical, heavy equipment, etc.
    • Encourage employers to locate in low-income, minority, and underserved areas, partly by emphasizing the wide range of housing types and prices there
    • Provide the education and training needed for good jobs

    OPPORTUNITY

    • Plan equitably in recognition of differing opportunities, resources and baselines among different neighborhoods, ethnic groups, income groups and genders; or, conversely, spread efforts and resources evenly
    • Remove barriers to the success of minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses or other businesses suffering from discrimination, and assist them with grants, tax breaks, compilation of directories, or other incentives/opportunities
    • Use incentives to assist growth of local entrepreneurs, instead of to lure companies to move here
    • Give all sectors of the city equal access to small business loans
    • Provide reparations to groups who have been discriminated against or exploited in the past
    • Confront and dismantle redlining and seek to reverse its longstanding impacts
    • Reduce ethnic and income segregation and discrimination in employment, business, housing, education, justice and civil rights
    • Extend current development across segregation lines
    • Address individuals who contribute toward an inequitable system
    • Prepare for the creation emerging political philosophies
    • Examine incentives to ensure that they, at least, benefit those who need it most

    AFFORDABLE HOUSING

    • Prioritize, provide and retain affordable, good quality housing by defining it clearly, preserving that which already exists, developing new affordable housing or mixed-price developments, and improving quality where needed without excessive costs
    • Create public/private partnerships to develop affordable housing
    • Seek Federal support and organize and participate in regional efforts to supply sufficient affordable housing
    • Construct many more small homes with basic features, and make mortgages available for very-low-cost homes
    • Provide a significant share of affordable housing in residential developments, and upzone for more inclusionary housing
    • Establish co-ops
    • Construct new subsidized housing
    • Encourage property owners to explore section 8/voucher housing options as a viable investment vehicle
    • Address homelessness with more shelters, sweat equity options, veterans' housing, and with mental health and other auxiliary programs
    • Limit property tax and rental increases, and utility costs
    • Encourage energy efficient homes
    • Increase the capacity of programs for home-ownership, rehab of existing buildings, or tax relief/utility support for low income households
    • Locate affordable housing near jobs, food, public education, and services
    • Prioritize affordable housing for low- and middle-income residents in development incentives
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