I’m not really sure how I feel about this proposal.
A plan to construct age-restricted housing units in Woodbine has ignited concern and, in some instances, opposition from nearby homeowners. The property is located roughly a quarter of a mile north of the intersection of Old Frederick Road and Woodbine Road and adjacent to the Lisbon Center shopping complex.Here’s a picture of the multi-unit houses they’re talking about. That one's from Fairfax County and, I believe, contains four units.
An ownership group, which includes developer Donald R. Reuwer Jr. and attorney Richard B. Talkin, has proposed constructing 20 units. Planned are five structures, each designed to resemble a large single-family home, and would be restricted to people who are at least 55.
The structures would have a maximum of 5,000 square feet, and each unit within them probably would cost $300,000 to $400,000, Reuwer, president of Land Design & Development Inc., told a gathering of Woodbine residents Thursday night.
I’ve seen houses like this before and I generally think they’re a good way of creating affordable housing in the land of McMansions. But, I’m not sure this is the right place for such housing, particularly considering how far removed from the county’s base of services this area is. So, in that sense, I’m agreeing with the local residents.
What I find most interesting and the reason for the title of this post is this quote:
"You can't buy a house out here for $300,000-$400,000," Sheldon told Reuwer. "We don't want low-income housing out here."Housing in the $300,000-$400,000 range is now considered “low-income?” Cripes, I must be living in poverty.
And, speaking of affordable housing and moving targets, the task force charged with studying the issue released its report. I’m waiting to actually see the report before commenting with any real substance, but the following excerpt from this story is certainly relevant to the broader point of this post:
The group focused its efforts on households making 110 percent of the median income, or about $100,300.Does that mean we write off those earning less, tell they don’t have a chance to live here anyway? How far to we push the goal posts back before we realize that housing and incomes in our county are so out of balance that something dramatic, something bold must be done to correct the situation? Are we there yet?
They chose that income level because it was around the lowest level to afford the average cost of housing in the county, said Leonard Vaughan, director of the county’s Department of Housing and Community Development.
If people earning $100,000 are having so much trouble finding housing, I’d say yes.