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237 total votes
The question about affordable housing is not so much of a question of "When?" but a question of "Why?" The question we should be asking ourselves at this time is the role the City has in providing access to affordable housing for the low-income individuals/families. To put it simply, Is providing affordable housing an essential city service.
I can argue this question both ways and have in the past, however, I am leaning toward the position that affordable housing is not an essential city service. I think the City needs to be careful that it does not have and/or adopt policies that exacerbate the issue, but this is not the City's problem to solve. When the City gets involved with strategies/tactics in trying to solve this issue all sorts of silly things happen.
What do others think.
It is one of those things that can be solved if we are willing to accept the solutions.
If affordable housing really is a pressing problem then City could encourage the formation of mobile home parks. YVHA's Elk River parcel could hold hundreds of mobile homes.
Historically, SB has pretended it could solve affordable housing without sacrificing anything in terms of housing quality, open space, impacts upon city services and so on. SB has attempted several approaches based upon the presumption that developers make so much money that they can be coerced into solving the affordable housing issue.
I think City needs to be honest and present the costs vs the resulting number of units vs size of the issue and make an informed decision going forward.
My solution would be to junk the idea that SB needs to be providing affordable housing within city limits and instead key an eye on the regional market.
I think that 2007/2008 showed that this area has a limited number of modest housing and the lack of available workers created difficulties for local businesses finding workers. Thus, I think SB City could consider being like a bank and provide finance construction of several modest homes/duplexes in Hayden or Stagecoach for as long as banks refuse to make those construction loans even on historical terms (lot as collateral and releasing funding as construction progresses) and then being repaid when it sells. City of SB could expect to break even as long as they don't release money without work being completed and reducing local economic risks of the future with a severely constrained workforce. And presumably, construction would be a benefit to the area.
Affordable housing is like many do good ventures in that we jump in at every perceived need and this unbalances the marketplace so that our real needs are clouded by;visionaries scrambling for identity.
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