First, a little background about myself … [I am] 80 years old, and [after] dropping out of high school, I became a carpenter, which led me to become a successful, licensed general contractor in the state of Florida.
My heyday in construction was from the mid-‘60s, to the ‘80s. That is when buildings were very much affordable.
I saw over the years so much unnecessary requirements by local and federal governments that, of course, added to the cost of construction. Which was passed on to the consumers.
I am retired but talk to people still in the construction business, and they all say it is out of control again for unnecessary requirements.
One basic proof of this, after the Second [World] War, my dad wanted a home built and could not find help, so he took it on himself to build his one and only house before even a permit or building inspectors were required as they are today. After 66 years, and through many hurricanes, that same house is still standing on the coastline and in great condition.
I read your article [“The Quest for Affordable Housing: Local Experts Weigh in on Asheville’s Housing Crisis,” July 29, Xpress] plus the four contributing people’s thoughts.
And not one mentioned … how did this problem come about.
Not only with the housing problems, but also in many other areas — such as health, schooling, insurance … that we have today — let’s start asking how this problem came about and not just throw more money to try to correct the mess we are in today.
So in summary, let’s find out what went wrong and fix that problem, not ask for free help, discount material costs, and any public or government assistance, but rather look at the real problem on how this happened …
— Frank G Richert IV
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.