Council votes to continue funding WISH program

Published 6:15 am Wednesday, November 16, 2022

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Washington City Council voted 4-1 in favor of a promissory note and deed of trust that will be given to the Washington Housing Authority’s WISH program. WISH is an acronym that stands for Washington Initiative to Support Homeowners. 

This is a program that helps residents in low-income neighborhoods who have a minimum household income of $18,000 work toward home ownership. The Washington Housing Authority and the City of Washington assist eligible residents afford down payments on homes. According to the Housing Authority’s website, the goals of this program are to break a cycle of poverty and help families and individuals out of poverty in addition to building a sense of pride and belonging in the community. Also, it could expand the existing tax base. 

During their regular meeting on Monday night (Nov. 14), council members discussed allocating $528,000 in a revolving loan. Thus continuing a partnership with the Washington Housing Authority. The total amount will help pay construction costs for three units, $176,000 for each unit. 

Funding for the homes would come from the city’s general fund balance. There would be a charge from the city for water taps, sewer taps and distribution materials, but there would not be a charge for installation of those materials. The Housing Authority would pay loans back to the City of Washington for 36 months. 

The City of Washington would also give Housing Authority $143,640 over a period of three years as a payment in lieu of taxes, City Manager Jonathan Russell said responding to a question from Councilman Bobby Roberson. 

The next regular City of Washington Council meeting will be held on Monday, Dec. 12 at 5:30 p.m.