NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

A second look at Lamphere's affordable housing.

Terry Lamphier suggests we Are we gambling on growth?, April 30, 2005
Take a theoretical example: a developer proposes a project of 100 houses. City or county planners negotiate with the developer to put deed restrictions on 20 of them so that they are on the market as "affordable" and will stay that way for the foreseeable future. Result? Well, the obvious one is that 20 more struggling families may be able to buy and live in our area. But has the community at large "won?" Here are what I see as flaws in this scenario.

First I am against this kind of affordable housing. The 80 home owners are paying for the 20 homes. This raises the prices of the 80 homes, creating even more unaffordable housing in the community. Second, the most valuable asset most families have is their house and the land it is on. If we put deed restrictions on the property to keep it "affordable" the property value will not rise with the market, nor will the home owners wealth. They will be stuck, unable to move to a larger home as the kids grow and need more room, or when it is time to take care of an aging parent. Inclusionary deed restrictions are bad for the home owner and the community.

Tell me what you think

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