the affordable housing equation
Original post made by just a thought, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park, on Nov 18, 2007
A lot of discussion in this town often references the need for "affordable housing", but it seems that this discussion is generally only focused on one side of the equation. What makes housing "affordable" is not just the cost of the housing itself, but also the income of the person(s) who are doing the buying or renting. Creating high density housing is not the only way (and maybe not the best way) to enable key community service providers such as teachers, firefighters, police, etc. to actually live in our community. High density housing is not very attractive to families with children, so key service providers will choose to live elsehwere anyway if they want to raise a family. And high density housing creates many other costs to our community terms of traffic, congestion, lack of open space, etc. It seems like a better way to achieve the real objective would be better to provide direct financial incentives to key service providers to live in our community rather than to create more high density housing or otherwise build out whatever remaining open space still exists.