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Local Government City of Palmetto Votes to Create Housing Authority

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PALMETTO -- Monday night, the Palmetto City Commission voted unanimously to create a Housing Authority. The Authority will be directed by the City Commission but will be run as a separate entity. The services it provides and the funding to provide those services will be at the direction of it's board members. Housing Authorities offer additional opportunities, for both cities and the county they are in, when it comes to making agreements between them. Palmetto commissioners are confident a housing authority will work to their city's advantage.

To determine the need for the "Authority", a petition signed by 25 city residents must be filed with the Clerks' office, the signatures verified, and then the governing body (the City Commission) pass a resolution. The resolution declares the need for such authority by identifying inhabited dwellings as unsafe or showing a shortage of sanitary accommodations available as low-income rentals as per Section 421.04 (2) Florida Statutes.

The purpose of the Authority is to establish and authorize transactions for business that will exercise the powers adopted by the resolution. It is the responsibility of the mayor to appoint no fewer than five and no more than seven people as commissioners of the authority.

City Commissioners will look for initial start-up capital in their reserve funds, but the authority will be responsible for their future operational cost. The cost can be met through applications for grants provided by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other organizations. 

Having a housing authority helps cities deal with the counties they are in, by being a third-party in transactions where both have invested interest but not the vehicle to implement jurisdiction. Establishing affordable housing is most often the reason to create an authority, but not always the sole initiative. 

City Commissioners will meet with staff to craft the resolution in coming weeks.

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