I found myself asking that question this morning after reading this:
Two candidates for the Howard County state delegation called for more local housing, while another said no to more newcomers as the county braces for the job explosion at Fort Meade.Judging from what I've said in the past about affordable housing, my views seem more in line with (gasp!) the Republicans than my own party (at least according to this two person sample, anyway). Couple this with the fact that I'm sounding like Steve Forbes and my whole perspective on the world has just been turned upside down.
Howard County has a limit of 1,750 new residential units per year. Pressure from the relocation of 5,300 defense jobs to Fort Meade because of the federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative could create an increased demand and price tag for these houses.
We should loosen up the limit, said Del. Gail Bates, R-District 13, at a candidates forum Wednesday. As demand increases, our homes are going to be less affordable.
The average new house in Howard County is $650,000.
Del. Elizabeth Bobo, D-District 12B, said increasing housing is not the answer.
“Are we saying we want as many people as possible to move to Howard County? That would be a mistake,” Bobo said. “As people move here, schools will be a big social issue.”
Seriously, I'm sure Bobo has ideas about how to create more affordable housing in Howard County, but the Examiner's stories, which are more like blurbs, rarely provide the opportunity for one to expand on the nuances of an issue. That said, Democrats definitely need to do a better job of providing ideas for affordable housing, which is component of what should be one of our party's core principles -- namely, ensuring help is there for those who need it most.
We must not abandon this principle -- even at the local level -- for the sake of expedience.