Monday, June 2, 2014

Sophie's (Housing) Choice

Having grown up in Amherst, on the wrong side of the tracks, in a single parent household, where my Irish mother had to rent out over half our home, I appreciate the monthly struggle to makes ends meet.

Amherst was not an easy place to afford back in the Kennedy era.  And it's far worse now.

So I sympathize with the tenants of 41 apartments at Rolling Green who face annual rent increases until all the subsidized units hit "market rate."  Which in Amherst only takes one word to describe:  expensive.

But I'm just not sure throwing $1.25 million in public money at the problem is the best solution.

Amherst Town Meeting will be asked to chip in that amount so that a unnamed "highly reputable affordable housing developer" can buy the entire complex -- all 204 units -- just to keep the 41 units forever affordable.

Kind of like the affordable tail wagging the market rate dog.

Two weeks ago Town Meeting approved the Amherst Affordable Housing Trust Fund as a repository for funds to be used to help put together public/private partnerships to jump start affordable housing building projects.

Might that $1.25 million be better spent enticing a brand new development in town rather than helping to purchase units that over 50 years old?

Because what Amherst really needs is more housing -- and LOTS of it.


They'll drag you so far under said...

What Ponziville needs

is more knuckle dragging suckerz.

Morons so completely eager

to be drained

of every last penny

and every last speck of dignity

they'll do ~ANYTHING~

and trust ~ANYONE~ "like them"

to make it happen.


Better than EVERYONE,

our addiction to victim-hood

makes our hatred of everything

A -> OKAY!



-Squeaky's got your ~rotten~ #s

Dr. Ed said...

Over 50 years old and which doesn't meet current codes for new construction!

Imagine how different that fire would have been if there had been sprinklers in the building. The Mutual Aid request would have been to the DPW for sand -- and that would have been it.

And while we are at it, is there any talk of mandating at least a centrally reporting heat detector fire alarm system? A simple heat detector tripping in the attic on a cold winter night would have had AFD already rolling when a passing motorist was flagged down to make the initial 911 call.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if I could get Ben Grosscup singing about Chapter 40B...

yAY Chapter 40B -- BUILD, BUILD, BUILD....

Tom McBride said...

Yes, and town meeting, this ten ton anchor we drag around, and the CPA, both of them are taking land by eminent domain and making things ten times worse. I don't care how much affordable housing the CPA has created, they will never be able to undo the damage they have done, both they and town meeting, by making property permanently unable to be developed for young families. The people involved in town meeting, and the rest of town government have no idea how much irreversible damage they have done over the years.