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Walthourville ponders affordable housing
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Hoping to assist low-income residents, the Walthourville City Council is working to make housing in the city more affordable.
One of the first steps in the initiative was taken April 17 when the council passed a resolution to participate in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s National Call to Action.  
The NCA is a network of communities and advocacy groups working to produce affordable housing through the sharing of ideas, solutions and information on how to reform housing regulatory laws.
According to HUD’s America’s Affordable Communities Initiative Web site, regulatory standards such as out-of-date building codes, duplicative or time-consuming design review or approval processes, burdensome rehabilitation codes, restrictive or exclusionary zoning ordinances, unnecessary fees or taxes, extreme environmental restrictions and excessive land development standards contribute to higher housing costs.
As a member of the NCA network working to remove these regulation barriers, the city will be required to create a task force to review its own housing standards and evaluate recommendations for changes or improvements by next year.
A section of the resolution read during the meeting noted a focus will be placed on addressing affordable housing needs of nurses, firefighters, police officers, returning veterans and service industry employees.
The council adopted the resolution unanimously. Council member Luciria Lovette was absent from the meeting.
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