Columbia County establishes housing task force, names coordinator
The Columbia Economic Development Corp. has established an Affordable Housing Development Task Force and named Chris Brown the new housing development coordinator. Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chair Matt Murell appointed a 12-member task force and the advisory board met for the first time January 25, and spoke about the importance of housing affordability and availability throughout the county. Brown has a wealth of knowledge, Murell said. “Before accepting this position, he worked in Sarasota, Florida, as a senior planner, a planning technician in the city of Troy and the director of operations of the Troy Community Land Bank,” Murell said. Brown said he sees his position as one of direction and support. “I’m driving the bus but the task force and the advisory board are driving the map on where we want to go,” Brown said. “I would love it if we can make the zoning as housing-friendly as possible. There’s a movement out there called ‘Community Not Commodity’ in the real estate market that says every parcel in your community is on sale to the highest bidder all the time. That’s just how real estate works. ...” Community Not Commodity backs land development policies that support community values over developer profits. It intends to build a strong, geographically diverse, multicultural coalition across Hudson to promote the public interest and policies to improve the lives of everyone. The members of the task force agreed to improve existing infrastructure, keep affordable housing in Hudson, develop a tool-planning kit for emergency housing, create more home ownership and affordable housing as part of subdivisions.