The City of Chattanooga is one of six jurisdictions across the US recently selected for the first-ever Putting Assets to Work Incubator. What does that mean? We’re here to break it down.
What is this program?
The basic idea behind PAW is that “local governments are sitting on a virtual gold mine without realizing it.”
Think of how businesses use their assets (for example, machines + buildings) as a way to generate revenue. This is the same idea. As part of the Putting Assets to Work program, local governments will spend 10 months identifying underutilized assets, and planning uses for those assets.
In particular, the city plans to return these proceeds to the community in the form of new revenue for key initiatives supporting the One Chattanooga strategic plan — for instance, affordable housing + transportation infrastructure investments.
The other selected jurisdictions
- The Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Resilience Authority | Annapolis, MD + Anne Arundel County, MD
- The City of Atlanta, GA
- The City of Cleveland, OH
- The City of Lancaster, CA
- Harris County, TX
What kind of assets will be evaluated?
- Underutilized properties
- Dormant parking lots
- Former industrial sites
Does all of this sound familiar? That’s probably because this program was spearheaded by former Salt Lake County Mayor + Congressman Ben McAdams, who spoke about utilizing your city’s assets during Chattanooga’s recent State of the City Address.
Salt Lake County underwent a similar asset-identifying process back in 2018. The county’s analysis found that all of the government-owned assets were valued at ~$10 billion, not to mention public lands that can be used to develop more sufficient housing + commercial areas.
Currently, Salt Lake County is working on several projects to bring these ideas to fruition.
“With increased returns on previously underutilized assets, we’ll be able to better fund critical initiatives like affordable housing and infrastructure improvements, improving the quality of life in our communities.” — Mayor Tim Kelly.