Columbia residents give views on affordable housing

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COLUMBIA - Columbia residents attended a public engagement meeting Thursday night on affordable housing at the Second Missionary Baptist Church, hosted by the City of Columbia’s Housing Programs Division.

The meeting is a part of the engagement process in which the City of Columbia allows residents to share feedback on its five-year consolidated plan for affordable housing.

“The purpose of the evening is really for the city to hear what the public has to say,” said Randy Cole, Housing Programs Division manager.

Ward Two City Council Member Mike Trapp attended the meeting as a facilitator to help with the conversation.

“Columbia is becoming increasingly difficult for people to live here and so looking at how to address that is important to a lot of people in the community,” said Trapp.

Allowing the public to give its input on how to use Housing Programs Division resources gives the city a frame of reference for how it should proceed and what projects need to be done.       

“We can directly tie community input to completed projects that we have had done in the past,” said Cole.

One major project that Cole highlighted was Oak Tower, an affordable housing complex for seniors.

Cole also addressed alleyway improvements in the Ridgeway neighborhood area and another upcoming affordable housing, Cullimore Cottages

“They will be ten affordable homes,” said Cole, “and they have been planned in the manner that was really driven by the vision of the neighborhood.”

Cole says there will be three more meetings throughout the month of February for Columbia residents to come out and share their opinions.