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OC to Purchase County Land for Affordable Housing

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By Bill Barlow

OCEAN CITY – City Council approved a $900,000 bond ordinance Nov. 14, funding the purchase of 3300 and 3304 Bay Ave., intending to use the property for affordable housing, as part of its negotiated obligation.
The county owns the land, on which stands a small, white building that has seen a variety of uses, including as a senior center before one was included in the city’s community center, and as an American Legion hall before the local Post 524 built a new one at 46th Street and West Avenue.
Most recently, the building housed the Ocean City High School Crew team’s equipment.
Resident David Breeden, recently elected president of the organization Fairness in Taxes, questioned why the funds for the purchase were set to come from city taxes, rather than the affordable housing trust fund paid into by developers. He said there is more than $5 million in that fund.
“Why is the automatic default to the taxpayer?” he asked.
City Attorney Dorothy McCrosson said construction of any affordable housing units on the site would come out of that fund, but that the city would fund the land purchase.

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