Affordable housing is a multifaceted issue given that what’s affordable depends on what percentage of a family’s income is being spent on housing. As such, programs and initiatives that keep more of that income within the family can also help housing be more affordable. (Obviously these precise thresholds are a bit arbitrary. In the real world, spending 31 percent of your income on housing is not especially more burdensome than spending 29 percent, and different families are very differently situated in terms of child care expenses, health care expenses, and other necessities. But that’s the official definition.)
I am in favor of some mixed-use development that will prioritize affordable and workforce housing, and maintain the culture and character of the areas involved, particularly in densely-populated areas. Building walkable, sustainable projects should remain a priority in any land use plan put for by Athens-Clarke County.
Bethel Midtown Village is a good example of where ACC can prioritize affordable housing through public-private partnerships. This would also be a good project for offering resident-focused contracting, job and skills training that leads toward career paths, and education on finances as well as paths to homeownership.
In addition, we have to make sure there are provisions in place to prevent the type of displacement, gentrification, and a loss of access to generational wealth that we saw with the destruction of Linnentown and other areas in our community.
I support of the Linnentown Resolution and publically asked the commission to consider everybody’s perspective that is involved in Linnentown. Please review my address to the commission below.