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Augusta mayor puts forth plans to boost affordable housing, economy

Mayor Hardie Davis says the CSRA is relevant to the 2020 presidential election
Mayor Hardie Davis says the CSRA is relevant to the 2020 presidential election(Jasmine Anderson (custom credit))
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 3:41 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. will offer proposals Tuesday intended to spur economic development and boost housing that’s affordable and that can accommodate a growing workforce.

He said this is important as the cyber industry brings in jobs and as people consider moving here or staying here after they graduate from college or get out of the military.

“I want them to not only work and dine in the city limits, but live and raise their families here,” Davis said in a statement.

His package before the Augusta Commission’s Administrative Services Committee will include:

  • A call for the city staff to develop property tax incentives to encourage new workforce dwellings and affordable housing.
  • At least three recommendations from the city staff on selling municipal-owned parcels at a reduced appraised value for the purpose of developing affordable housing.
  • A zoning amendment to allow accessory dwelling units or tiny homes.

Currently, Augusta doesn’t allow accessory dwelling units as residences. But he said they should be considered affordable options for seniors living fully or semi-independently as well as younger people who want to downsize.

He cited the story of a mother who bought a tiny home for her daughter during the pandemic only to be told it couldn’t be used as a dwelling here.

Davis also has introduced the organization Renters Choice to provide a presentation on efforts to address upfront move-in costs for renters and provide “equal or greater protection to property owners.”

Davis also proposed giving many city staff members raises, making $30,000 the minimum annual pay for full-time employees. His office estimates 350 full-time employees earn $22,000 to $28,000 a year.

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