An article in the Nov. 24 Mountain Xpress [“Not Ready for Prime Time”] mentioned affordable housing as “workforce” housing and described such jobs as police officers, nurses, teachers and other workers. According to the article, affordable housing was based on 30 percent of the workers’ annual household income. There were examples of pricing at the new Glen Rock Depot: $508 for an efficiency and $589 for a one-bedroom.
I take a bit of exception to this, as I see myself as a very intricate part of the workforce. I am a city employee and earn less then 30 grand a year. I am always bugged by the words affordable housing, as I do not feel it is affordable to the workforce. If rent is based on 30 percent of the annual household income for a workforce that is making $30,000 to $40,000 a year, it does not make such housing affordable to those who make less.
When are they going to look at affordable housing for the rest of the workforce? The city employees who fix our streets and water lines … make less than $30,000 a year, as does the staff of your favorite coffee house, restaurant or store.
People [like me], who make less than $30,000 a year, are forced to live beyond our means or move into government-subsidized housing, which most don't qualify for either.
The workforce seems stuck in the middle. [City Council members] speak of affordable housing but don't look at the ones who really need it. I am currently living in a one-bedroom efficiency that costs me over 40 percent of my monthly income, and it is one of the cheaper apartments I was able to find. I struggle every month just to keep afloat. I think it's a shame that there is not more consideration for people like me.
— Josh Mallernee