There is an unquestionable need by many for housing costs that more closely align with their resources, but I find it strange that so many free-market types are now clamoring for city governments to legislate for “affordable housing.” Single-family residential neighborhoods — regardless of how modest — are places of refuge from noise, crowding, traffic and other stresses that afflict higher-density urban neighborhoods. Residents who have worked and saved and pay taxes to live in a single-family neighborhood have a right to view the single-family residential zone as a contract that the city has a duty to honor.
Developers, builders and realtors see that single-family residential zones often make up a significant part of urban acreage and are now using “affordable housing” as a catchphrase for justifying the destruction of single-family neighborhoods through exceptions, exemptions and upzoning. They see our single-family neighborhoods not as an important city asset and part of its culture and identity, but as a resource to be mined for profit.
There are many ways to accommodate growth and social needs in our communities. Dismantling our single-family neighborhoods should not be one of them.
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David De Groot, Puyallup