Is Raleigh Really Spending More on Affordable Housing than Dix Park?
In a recent televised debate with her opponent, Charles Francis, Mayor Nancy McFarlane said, "We are spending more on affordable housing than we're spending on Dix Park right now."
PolitifactNC fact checked the statement...
So here is the problem with this analysis. The purchase of the Dix Park land cost $52 million. We are currently spending $7.24 million per year on affordable housing. Therefore, merely the land acquisition deal was worth more than 7 years of city spending on affordable housing.
So while it might be technically true that on an annual basis the current budgeted amount is higher for affordable housing than for Dix Park, it would be hard to argue that the size of the investment of $52 million doesn't dwarf usual city spending on affordable housing.
It also ignores the fact that the Dix Park Conservancy is footing the bill for much of Dix Park including the high-priced consultants who are guiding the city's design process.
Of course, ultimately, when the vision and design process is completed in a couple of year and construction on the park itself begins, city taxpayers can expect for spending on the park to ramp up considerably and quickly. The initial $52 million investment is likely to be exceeded many times over with the costs of actually developing the park. The truth is that city spending on Dix Park is probably at an all-time low point right now. It is unlikely that spending on affordable housing will be increased at the same rate as what should be expected for the new park.
We rate this glass as half empty.