walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

Affordable Housing Generates Odd Quotes

http://actonforum.com/story/role-40b-and-affordable-housing

Ignoring the "housing summit" idea (uh, there's a master plan, and a process associated with that already), Terra Friedrichs is very committed to the idea that we have enough housing in town, and enough of the right kinds of housing, including affordable housing. So we don't need more. We just need to count it up differently. Altho I do sort of wonder what that "units are not going to the population that needs it" means. Since she spends a lot of time talking about ownership contribution to affordable housing, is she proposing we move people out of houses they've been in since 1960 or 1970 or so, so that other people can move into those affordable units? I'm not sure that makes sense, especially given that at least sometimes when those change hands they get torn down and turned into more not-affordable housing.

"Friedrichs believes Acton should look at what housing is available, saying that there is enough affordable housing in town, but units are not going to the population that needs it. “The number one problem in Acton is development,” she said. “It all goes back to development. And people keep voting for people who want more development. I am not anti-development. I am anti-bad development. Adding units does not serve people.”"

I've read that paragraph probably a dozen times now, and I _love_ its complete and utter paradox, altho I really want to point out that just _saying_ you aren't against something does not really counteract all of your other, neighboring statements that you don't like that thing.

I do not in any way understand the way 40B works with for-sale housing units. What I do know is that anyone who thinks town government can afford to buy market rate houses in this town and sell them for below market rate in a way that would make it affordable to 80% of median income people, making up the difference with property taxes, has probably both drastically underestimated the amount of money required to do that with even a single house, and drastically overestimated the interest of homeowners in town to contribute significantly to the purchase of someone else's home.

Sometimes I just feel like pointing out to people that affordability and density go hand in hand for a whole bunch of reasons, virtually none of which are negotiable in a high transport cost world. But-we-don't-want-more-people-here, backed up by home rule, isn't much of a counter argument.
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