Affordable Housing Commission releases ’22 report

Published 2:00 pm Saturday, March 25, 2023

The Affordable Housing Commission released its 2022 annual report during a regular meeting of the Oxford Mayor and Board of Aldermen this week.  With specific goals established in their first year, the Housing Commission is devoted to developing affordable housing information, plans, and ordinances for the City of Oxford. 

Donna Zampella, General Manager for Oxford University Transit, presented the annual report.  She said over the course of the year, the commission has established three main goals: Creating a sustainable commission, producing a housing resource guide, and conducting city ordinance reviews. 

The Community Engagement Subcommittee produced a guide for residents and included information regarding available resources and phone contacts for anyone in need of assistance. 

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“Underserved people are often the least able to find and access even those resources which are available to them, so this clear publication can be a great help to give those in need a place to start, and a phone number to call,” the report read. 

“I am so impressed with all the information you were able to compile into one resource guide and we have distributed it to people who have called us with questions,” Mayor Robyn Tannehill said. “We have found it to be very beneficial.

The goals established in 2021 still stand and are listed below for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund:

  • Increase opportunities for home ownership in the LOU Community.
  • Improve recruitment efforts for local employers. 
  • Retain high quality public servants to live and work in the LOU Community. 
  • Provide support during housing‐related crises.
  • Provide an avenue for charitable tax break opportunities for local citizens. 
  • Provide rehabilitation opportunities for owner‐occupied dwellings to improve the quality of affordable homes in our community.

The commission was established in December of 2021 and started meeting bimonthly in May of 2022. In February of 2022, the first commission meeting was held and included 11 volunteers from the community. 

 “We cannot thank you enough for all of the hard work,” Mayor Tannehill said. “I was a part of the City’s ordinance review committee meeting a few weeks ago, and Dr. Antownow was kind enough to join us and go through these proposed changes. I think they will all help us move in a positive direction. We knew when we wrote these, that it was just a first stab at an Affordable Housing ordinance, and we want it to be something that is realistic enough that folks can genuinely benefit from utilizing this and will spur on affordable housing developments.”

The commission meets the third Wednesday of every month at 11 a.m., with meetings open to the public.