Affordable Housing 

Affordable Housing 

Drama Unfolds as More Communities Fighting Against It

Cristal M Clark 

Affordable housing has been taking a beating as of late because communities are fighting against allowing it. As lawmakers scramble to get affordable housing units built, lawmakers from both parties want to boost tax credits that incentivise builders to construct cheaper homes for low-income people in order to offset the often drastically higher profit margins that builders can make putting up homes for the wealthy.

The group fighting this is being called a phenomenon which is known as “NIMBY-ism,” or rather “not in my backyard.”

To put into layman’s terms, it means that regardless of the facts that voters and taxpayers may support government efforts to build more low- and middle-income housing, they’d prefer to have it done somewhere that does not affect them personally hence where they do not have to rub elbows with the underprivileged. 

However, the impact of this movement will for a fact affect them personally and quite painfully as those who are fighting this are well known to throw childish temper tantrums when they are faced with staffing shortages in places like the market, coffee shops, bars and restaurants.  

The issue that many communities are taking is simple, if you build affordable housing in wealthy cities and neighbourhoods it drastically cuts the property values for the wealthy homeowners. 

And although, I do get it just where are those low skilled and low paid workers supposed to live? If they are not close to public transportation or the ability to bike or walk to work easily, those that are protesting affordable housing can look forward not getting that iced coffee very easily. 

Sen. Michael Bennet a Democrat from Colorado had this to say: “I had the Colorado Teacher of the Year come visit me a month or so ago, she is from Glenwood Springs, which is a rural community on the western slope of Colorado and in passing she was not complaining but she just made the observation that 70 to 80 % of her colleagues in the middle school and in the high school where she teaches have to have two or three jobs just to live in Glenwood Springs. So, you know, this is a real failure on the part of our society, I think, to be able to create workforce housing in our states.” 

Which is without no doubt correct. The other side of this argument is that if you dump funding into affordable housing its a turnoff for builders and you are less capable of hiring police and fire personnel or teachers for a community. 

Some of the lowest paying trained professional jobs communities offer, so is this movement and builders trying to have their cake and eat it too, because we’re fuck are those individuals supposed to live? 

Cities need low paid and low skilled workers living in affordable housing in order to continue to thrive and have a healthy economy and community. If you move those individuals away, you will have less access to the very things that this movement and builders take for granted. 

Cristal M Clark

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