It’s time for the new Board of Directors of Homes for Good (formerly HACSA) to move away from the former board’s way of doing business and step up and make decisions that are in the public’s interest. The HFG board includes the five Lane County Commissioners and two resident commissioners. Past boards have mostly rubber-stamped decisions of Jacob Fox, executive director. One of the decisions from the past needs to be revisited by the board at their meeting on March 27.
The former board allowed a long-standing agreement with the River Road and Whiteaker neighborhoods to turn land along the Willamette Greenway into low income housing to be changed by Fox — with no discussion — into a sale for high-priced apartments with the out-of-state pave-and-run Evergreen Housing and Development Group, who have a deservedly poor local reputation. Fox put this crucial decision on the board’s “consent calendar” which is designed for non-controversial items that receive automatic approval — with no discussion. Although Fox places items on this calendar — the board can refuse to allow it. This is especially important now that HFG is less committed to building affordable housing at a time when it is most needed.
HFG Board, we need you to vacate the Evergreen Lombard Apartment agreement, hold a public process for this precious Greenway public land — and include the neighborhoods in those discussions in order to make a decision that is in the public’s interest. It’s a new day — and a new way for this new board to operate.
River Road resident
Former county commissioner