Would Someone Please Define Affordable Housing in Bozeman?
Our more liberal city commissioners are on a quest. Affordable housing at any cost.
In their world every living, breathing, human being, no matter their economic status, has to have a split level, three-bedroom bungalow, two car garage, with a white picket fence for the dog and 2.5 kids.
It’s a noble endeavor. I salute them for their appreciation of the American dream. However, is this the rabbit hole they really want to go down?
Let’s face some cold hard facts. Not everyone in the US is the right candidate for home ownership.
That’s not a slam on any group just a fact of life that some people are renters and others are owners. It’s not a matter of a specific price point.
Define Affordable Housing
I live in affordable housing. It’s affordable to me. Could I afford a bigger home? Maybe.
What’s affordable to one person is not always affordable to another.
Bill Gates can buy a Gulf Stream Jet Aircraft — I can’t. So, are telling me there should be affordable aircraft?
Anyone out there anti-flight?
Home ownership is a great thing. Pigeonholing people is not a great thing. How do you define who wins the affordable home lottery and wins the home? Number of rooms, price point, neighborhood, income?
How do you keep an affordable house affordable? Shouldn’t a home owner be able to take advantage of the market appreciation of his or her property?
Or will they be forced to sell at a loss to meet a mandated price point imposed by Big Brother?
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is to try to force a market to react the way they want it to.
Affordable housing is the 2018 version of New Coke, or the Studebaker. There are too many unintended consequences waiting to happen for any definition to work.
Some Final Thoughts
I always hear that we need affordable housing for nurses, teachers, fireman and police. We can’t attract the best candidates and they won’t move here without low cost housing.
I mean you can’t expect these union folks, who are paid more than the average working stiff, with benefit packages, and medical coverage most of us can only dream about to be renters.
The City Commissioners are having none of that.
Public worker salaries are public record — look em up. While I appreciate the dangerous jobs the police and fireman perform I haven’t seen any fireman or policeman living in their cars as I had to at one time in my life.
Until we have some solid definition of what affordable housing really is then any plan is going to be crushed under the weight of its own ever-changing regulations.
Why not do the right thing. Let the market determine housing and the buyer or renter to make it work for them. That’s the real American Dream of home ownership.