_HOC purchased all three Aspen Court buildings - 39 units  in 2009 - and is renovating them.  HOC is the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County ( http://www.hocmc.org/ )

You can read the agenda from the March 2011 City Council meeting where plans for renovation were first discussed  ( http://www.takomaparkmd.gov/clerk/agenda/items/2011/031411-1.pdf ) and a transcript is below. 

The tenants of the two formerly occupied buildings all had to vacate under court order recently as part of the renovation - its been a long drawn out process.  The City, in particular city staffer Sara Daines, and Bruce Williams and Colleen Clay along with pro bono legal assistance, helped the tenants successfully fight for a fair package of moving assistance, a contribution toward rent while they are out of the buildings, and guaranteed right of return to the buildings at current rent rates.  It was a lot of behind the scenes work by the City staff and Council on behalf of residents who should have been better served right off the bat by the County agency (HOC) that owns the buildings. 

I don't know the timeline for the completion of the project but I expect the appearance outside will be much improved along with the quality and condition of the apartments. 

There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes as part of the City's efforts to maintain the socioeconomic diversity of Takoma Park.  I really appreciate all the hard work that went into helping these residents get a better deal from the county.
 
 
_Maybe I am not being fair - I hope someone will correct me.  But if you look at waste from our homes in Takoma Park, we've been stuck in neutral while other progressive places around the country are moving ahead.  By my estimate, we recycled 55% of waste in 2010 - that is 4,310 tons of leaves, yard waste and recyclable materials.  We produced about 2.5 pounds of total waste/person every day of the year.  The City of Berkeley California (the Takoma Park of the West) is producing only 1.8 pounds of waste/person/day and recycling 60% of it - i.e. they are making less waste and recycling more of it.  Nearby Greenbelt is producing less waste than us too and reporting a 57% recycling rate. 

Takoma Park's planned kitchen compost collection program is a big step in the right direction but plans to launch it in January are on hold while the partner taking our kitchen compost further prepares their site.  In the spring, I hope we can pilot using large, wheeled recycling bins to see if that change makes it easy to recycle.  I am also going to work to get a session on trash and recycling on a spring City Council agenda - it would be great to have a chance to hear the community's ideas on how we can continue to improve.



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