To the editor:
The Times-Gazette’s thorough reporting of the 14 bills that have been proposed in the State House of Representatives to address the housing crisis is most welcome. The …
To the editor:
The Times-Gazette’s thorough reporting of the 14 bills that have been proposed in the State House of Representatives to address the housing crisis is most welcome. The legislation is complex, and deserves in-depth examination. The legislative package is designed to facilitate the increased creation of units, recognizing that overall housing costs decrease as supply increases. It favors much needed zoning reform, and despite its weaknesses, represents a meaningful step in the right direction.
I agree with the paper’s editorial position that the package doesn’t go far enough — the needs of low-income renters remain underserved by merely incentivizing private construction. The commitment of public resources, including substantial State financing, is needed to reverse decades of insufficient low and moderate income housing production. Municipalities must join the effort as well, not only by promoting regulatory reform, but by identifying building sites and engaging development partners in the production of 100% affordable projects. According to Housing Works RI, over 1,500 Warren households are currently paying so much for housing that they are unable to meet other equally essential needs.
That said, the need for new housing extends across all income sectors, including those moderate income households at 80% or less of the HUD-defined “Area Mean.” Communities benefit from economic diversity. The proposed House legislation effectively stimulates so-called “missing middle” housing creation. New housing is a community benefit, and new neighbors are a community asset. To the extent that Warren is able to provide safe, decent and affordable housing to residents and newcomers of all income levels, it is a better place.
67 Water Street