Rome City Commissioners are slated to hear tonight the results of a months-long analysis of the housing opportunities available to residents, along with recommendations on how to address the shortfalls going forward.
A consultant with Mosaic Community Planning is scheduled to make a detailed presentation at the board's 4 p.m. caucus and offer an overview at the start of the 6 p.m. regular meeting. Both sessions in City Hall, 601 Broad St., are open to the public.
Also on the agenda is the award of a contract to upgrade security cameras at the Rome-Floyd County Fire Department headquarters on East 12th Street.
Commissioners also are expected to approve a payment of just over $17,000 to offset Georgia Power's cost of moving four power poles for the Dean Avenue sidewalk project, estimated at $18,768. Under the utility's franchise agreement, the city is responsible for 90.97 percent of relocation expenses.
Mosaic Community Planning was hired jointly by Rome and the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority last fall. The city and the authority split the $24,945 cost of the housing assessment, which is required under the Fair Housing Act from of entities that use federal funds.
The 122-page report pulls together demographic information based on locations and interviews to pinpoint concerns regarding affordable and accessible housing. Among the findings noted in the executive summary:
♦ Rome has about 36,000 residents, according to the latest American Community Survey. Some 56 percent are white, 24 percent black and 16 percent Latino. The remaining 4 percent belong to other racial or ethnic groups.
♦ The study found housing segregation levels between white, black and Asian residents declined between 1990 and 2010. In contrast, divisions increased between white and Latino residents.
♦ East Rome — just south of downtown and north of 12th Street — registered as the most diverse area in the city, with one-third of its residents white; one third black; and one quarter Latino. Other diverse areas include Technology Parkway around Mathis Drive and tracts between Burnett Ferry and Wilkerson roads.
♦ In analyzing neighborhoods, Mosaic found there's little disparity by race or ethnicity in terms of transportation costs and access to good schools. However, black and Latino residents are more likely than other groups to live in neighborhoods with low levels of employment and high levels of poverty.
♦ Two-fifths of the city's households have one or more of the four main housing problems analyzed: Cost burden, overcrowding, lack of full kitchens, lack of complete plumbing. Nearly a quarter face severe housing needs.
♦ An estimated 5,784 city residents aged 5 and older have a disability, with the highest rate — 10 percent — occurring in the 18-to-64 age group. About 18 percent of the total population in Rome has a disability, which is the same rate as people living in the unincorporated area of Floyd County.