The need for affordable housing never meets on a fair playing ground with the numbers of units needed to make a dent in the demand for such living spaces.
It is pitiable how few affordable housing units are being built as compared with higher end, market rate housing units such as those going up by the thousands in Everett today.
Legislating the number of new affordable housing units as Everett’s city council is attempting to do in September is laudable.
Trying to do so is not a crime.
The crime is in doing nothing.
Affordable units are badly needed in a working class city like Everett.
In fact, they are needed everywhere, throughout the state, because everyone in the work force and trying to live out their lives are not well to do, or endowed with loads of extra cash to pay excessive rents in the inflated economy.
The vast majority of people residing in Everett live from week to week on their salary checks and or state and federal benefits.
That’s not a harsh reality. His is just the way it is.
New developments, almost exclusively, are intended for the younger set of upwardly mobile educated kids coming into the work force and who are able to pay higher rents.
Without families to impact on their independent spending habits, these younger folks moving into Everett’s new upscale units, represent a new legion of American capitalist warriors.
They are on the rise. The future looks bright for them.
For the working class families living here, affordable housing could change the day.
But to build affordable housing units requires large amounts of capital at much higher construction and development costs which includes higher interest payments to banks.
Developers are constrained by all of the above.
They must act accordingly in a highly competitive industry where the interest is not in the work class, but rather, in the more upwardly mobile higher income class.
We applaud the efforts of the city council to attack the problem and to gain a foothold in turning around the affordable housing situation.
Councilors Stephanie Martins, Darren Costa and Stephanie Smith are leading the charge for affordable housing.
They have their work cut out for themselves – but at least they have begun.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
Let’s see what they can do to improve the climate for affordable housing.