Last week, during the regular city council meeting, the city of Inglewood held a “housing lottery”. The lottery drawing wasn’t listed on the regular city council agenda. Ten individuals, including a city employee, were selected to receive up to $350,000 towards the purchase of a home, not to exceed $600,000 in price.
Initially only (5) individuals were to be selected, but at the last minute, Mayor James Butts asked to extend funding to include (10) individuals out of the 46 that were eligible.
The homebuyer assistance program was initially approved August 21, 2018 and was to have no impact to the General Fund as the program would be funded with $2 million dollars from Redevelopment Housing Bond Funds.
This week’s staff report, to establish $3.75 million dollars in funding, to accommodate the additional (5) families, will come from the city’s General Reserve Account as the city waits for approval from the Department of Finance to use the Redevelopment Bond Funds.
This week’s staff report also establishes a three year wait list, that the additional (5) families were told they were being placed on, until additional funding becomes available. With the city using the reserves, perhaps all (10) families will be immediately funded and not have to wait, which would negate the need to establish a wait list altogether.
Strangely, City Manager Artie Fields signatures differs from the initial 2018 staff report and the staff report to be approved this week.
This is the only item on this week’s council agenda besides paying the city’s bills.
Last week we shared that Pace News, owned by Gloria Zurveen received $8,000 to run a single ad in her newspaper, which isn’t delivered to the homes of Inglewood residents, however, this week Herald Publications is receiving payments for $260 for an ad. Why does it cost so much to advertise in Black owned publications? Inquiring minds wanna know.
Fiscal year 2018-2019 ends next month on September 30th. Is this housing lottery a way to use the city’s reserves, to pay other bills, before year end?