We need homes for locals in Legacy Lodge.
September 30, 2022
RE: Homes for locals in Legacy Lodge
Dear Chair Macker and Commissioners,
Thank you all for your thoughtful approach to the Legacy Lodge housing proposals over the past year. We recognize the difficulty of navigating multiple strong private and public interests. You have gone above and beyond in your willingness to take extra time reviewing this proposal, meeting with neighbors and project proponents, and giving real consideration to multiple versions of the proposal. Thank you.
As we understand the proposal currently, it is framed as an “all or nothing” and “perfect is the enemy of the good” project: either you accept the current Workforce housing proposal as-is, or the owners will implement a use other than housing. This decision is challenging. Is it better to add conditions to the project that would improve it, but risk losing the housing opportunity? As we weigh the risks and potential benefits, we have two conclusions:
- If you decide to approve the project as-is, without affordability or livability guarantees, we understand and support your decision. It is reasonable to argue that a Workforce bird in the hand is better than an Affordable bird in the bush.
- If you are willing to take a risk and try to improve the project, we would heartily support adding conditions to make this a better project, such as:
- At least 25% of units have income-linked Affordable deed restrictions
- Full kitchens are added to the units (not just hot plates and microwaves), potentially in phases so tenants can begin moving in sooner
- The leases for some units have a minimum term of 6-12 months
These conditions would protect against large rent increases; increase stability and livability; and increase the likelihood that the apartments serve our long-term community members, instead of only short-term workers. These people also need safe and affordable housing, but should not be prioritized above our committed community members.
It is exciting to see homes that could be available for renters on the horizon. We know that safe, secure, and most important, permanently deed-restricted housing is the foundation of a healthy community. Please offer Stage Stop LLC the opportunity to do right by our community and use this building to provide deed-restricted, dignified, and secure housing for their own employees as well as other members of our community who desperately need it.
ShelterJH Coordinator, for the ShelterJH Board of Directors