To the Editor,
The terms affordable housing and subsidized housing are at times confused with each other.
Affordable housing refers to housing that is priced in a range affordable to the working class, at rational pricing for potential buyers whose incomes are sufficient to obtain required financing (mortgage). Subsidized housing are rental properties available for low-income families who cannot afford regular rental rates, These units are rent controlled through a rental board. Rents are set and an applicant may apply for financial assistance in full or in part to assist in paying the rent. These are not rent-to-own properties.
Both of these categories are affected by the area’s economic activities. Both categories need economic development which results from employment in new industries and/or expansion within business segments. (Old saying: no money, no candy).
When citizens join forces to protest against the building and or expansion projects in economic growth for multiple reasons, they often do not calculate the realities of today by using stale, dated, and erroneous data from decades past.
They create long delays and legal costs to both sides of the issues they raised. Often, it is same groups that are against almost everything – simply just to be against. These delays hinder development and can and have had developers simply pack it in and move their projects elsewhere.
The developer got the project up and running, but elsewhere and will never return to the problem area. This experience is shared with other investors who simply avoid and/or bypass the area.
And now another handy excuse. COVID? How does COVID affect the local economy?
There is some effect, but blaming a virus for slowing down an economy that has stagnated for decades is unrealistic. Reality is the issue and the sooner it is accepted, the sooner we can move forward.
Attempts by building contractors to invest in housing development often face strong and at times bitter resistance from residents in a given area, who are creative with objections that simply postpone way too many economic development projects. These protests are often directed at simply building a new home and/or expansion to an existing building. It ends up getting done, but the protestors have successfully discouraged others from building or expanding.
Let’s provide an environment to encourage the develop of affordable housing by the economy, that goes hand in hand with affordable housing. This means creating JOBS – the dreaded four-letter word.