To the Editor:
I’m pleased that there’s an affordable housing committee currently trying to make things better and apparently more affordable in Athens.
OU has done extensive research and the conclusion is that between $125,000 and $250,000 is the affordable sweet spot for a house. As a person who has been looking for a house to buy in Athens, I see a lot of homes that are around $140,000 to $180,000, which is right there in that zone, and as a person with four jobs, I can’t afford that. $125,000 is about the max of my affordability at this point, and I know I’m not alone.
I know there are a lot of things being considered in this, like energy efficiency and so forth, which is great, but as a person who can’t afford what this committee says is affordable housing, where does that leave me? Either as a renter, or priced out.
And anyway, when a lot of houses are less expensive than the affordable housing they plan to build, what makes it affordable? Perhaps it could be called the efficient housing committee, or the new housing committee.
I genuinely do appreciate some aspects of their plan, but to call $220,000 houses affordable in Athens is kind of ridiculous. A million-dollar house is affordable to somebody. Affordable housing should be made for those who can’t afford what’s on the market, not for those who can afford the higher-end houses already.
If you laughed at me saying those are higher-end houses, you are out of touch with what it’s like to struggle. I would love to buy a house here, but if things don’t change, a lot of people who help hold this town up on their backs will be priced out.
Maybe that’s the real plan. When the lowest number of what’s considered affordable is my maximum, and over $200,000 is decided on as the affordable zone, how do I not feel that way? Maybe we could designate a zone for a homeless camp since homelessness will continue to rise right along with rising housing costs. I can definitely afford a tent.