Gettysburg Area Democracy for America (DFA) has released a position paper decrying the chronic shortage of affordable housing in Adams County and calling for developers and local governments to make a priority of this issue.
You can read the paper by clicking here.
The position paper mentions several reasons for this shortage, including:
- A lack of Federal and State funding to build units.
- Developers’ preferences to build high-end, high-profit units rather than moderate- and small-profit ones.
- Developers’ beliefs that the cost of land in Adams County is too high to build low- and moderate-cost houses and apartments.
- Developers’ complaints about local regulations
- An ongoing stigma that low- and moderate-income tenants are not good tenants.
The position paper observes that “Borough and township officials are charged with planning housing for all people, not just private developers. We need to encourage zoning and land use changes that promote development of low- and moderate-income housing.” The paper cites a document called Reducing Land Barriers to Affordable Housing, published by the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services, as a source of helpful ideas.
The paper also suggests that “Township and borough officials should also be encouraged to explore with their attorneys the requirement to build a set-aside number of low- and moderate-income units for every high-end house that they build. The developers will not like that but it is time for changes to be made.”
“We’re having a development boom, but nobody is building affordable housing. We need to reverse this,” said co-author Steve Niebler. “We need housing for teachers and police and other working families. Adams County is becoming a place where working families can’t afford to live,” said co-author William Gilmartin.
DFA co-chair Jeff Colvin said “The townships and boroughs should make affordable housing a priority. Employers won’t relocate here if their employees can’t find a place to live.”
Gettysburg DFA is a nonpartisan organization that was founded in 2004. It has task forces that are concerned with Health Care, Education, and Government Accountability.