Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Effect on Affordability

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Effect on Affordability

Seminary Hill Association, Inc. Vice President Tom Fulton [“Importance of Working Together,” letter, Gazette Packet, Nov. 22] rightly takes to task Councilman Tim Lovain's characterization that the association is against all development merely because it raised subsidiary concerns about delivery truck cut-through and increased congestion.

Indeed, we hear reverberations of Councilman Lovain's perspective in Vice Mayor Justin Wilson's assertion that Mayor Allison Silberberg was "against" affordable housing because, like Mr. Fulton, she raised similar subsidiary concerns about parking and inequitable swimming pool access. In some ways analogous to Mr. Fulton's letter, she countered Vice Mayor Wilson's assertion with a mailer challenging his distortion of her record.

We should understand that Councilman Lovain's remark aptly illustrates how the dais (other than the outgoing mayor) views these things. While we can critique, we must acknowledge that with the dais' view comes the weight of elected office and the inference, even if not the one we intended or would make, that that the wider public, in installing incumbents holding the perspective Councilman Lovain stated, shares this unfortunate perspective.

What, though, is more alarming is that the deal with Amazon rewards Amazon for jobs paying annual salaries of $150,000 or more. These are not jobs associated with needing affordable housing, but the housing demand these jobs will generate will annihilate existing market affordable housing in neighborhoods like Lynhaven and Arlandria proximate to where Amazon is locating.

City hall seems to behave as if the only affordable housing that "counts" is "designated" affordable housing secured by some action of a governmental entity, not naturally occurring affordable housing created by a free market which City Council's actions are annihilating. A dais which views things this way has become infatuated with a kind of ipse dixit view of governmental power, dangerously disconnected from any common sense understanding of housing affordability.

Dino Drudi