I have seen multiple news stories regarding the lack of housing choices, particularly affordable, or entry level housing choices. One can argue this deficit is the result of a failure of a community to attract and retain a middle income job base. If a preponderance of the jobs in a community are earning near poverty level incomes, then it follows that these households require housing assistance. My experience with programs like rental tax credits is the physical result is often a race to the bottom. I am a great believer in creating affordable housing solutions that are indistinguishable from market rate housing. That these projects are best rendered in small public/private partnership. That these projects incorporate sustainability in every decision. And, that these projects must be conceived as a part of the neighborhood tapestry, woven carefully and creatively into the urban fabric.
Read this article by Walter Wuthmann. I have never been much of a fan of big box stores. Many times I’ve been puzzled by communities who ask nothing of these giant corporations, then spend extraordinary amounts of local dollars fixing the traffic and utility issues that follow. Worth reading.