What kind of community do we want to live in; an exclusive community that prices out working families in favor of deep-pocketed transplants or a community where working families can thrive with modest incomes?
Working families cannot afford to live here. Period. Any personal finance guru will tell you that if you spend more than a third of income on housing you are spending too much. Housing costs for nearly everybody in this county exceed this recommended fraction and this is a direct cause of significant price inflation that has lifted the cost of living to unsustainable heights. From our highest in the nation health insurance costs to the price of eggs at the grocery store, we pay premium prices for goods and services across the board and you cannot ignore the housing crisis and its role in this widespread price inflation.
While this is a multifaceted problem, we can take immediate action to start increasing housing supply for working families.
First, we need to reach out to industry to see what we can do to encourage development of affordably priced housing. We need to entice development of modestly priced and denser housing that is close to transit hubs.
Second, we need to reach out to community partners and focus on a holistic approach. Our housing crisis is a three-county problem that requires cooperation among all actors to eliminate gamesmanship by developers seeking to avoid affordable housing rules.
Third, we need to reach out to the experts. This problem faces many communities across our country and there are considerable resources that we can consult in developing tailored solutions that create and maintain thriving communities for working families
We ignore this crisis at our peril. Working families deserve more than just to live, they deserve to thrive, and affordable housing is key.