By. Neil Williamson, President
Over the better part of the last three years, Charlottesville affordable housing has been a part of every government discussion. Some have suggested affordable housing policy concerns derailed the proposed Comprehensive Plan and form based code.
We were encouraged by the February 20th work session on affordable housing and we are thrilled to see buried in tonight’s Charlottesville City Council consent agenda, is a resolution that could, in time, dramatically increase the supply of affordable housing units.
If passed, and we expect it will be, the Planning Commission will be charged with developing the zoning text amendments required to change the code regarding:
- Affordable Housing Fund
- Missing Middle Housing (duplex, triplex, etc.)
- Accessory Dwelling Units by right
- Affordable Dwelling Unit Ordinance
The Free Enterprise Forum is supportive of all of these concepts (and more) to increase the supply of affordable housing, but we know the devil is in the details.
Even with that caveat, we sincerely appreciate the city taking this step forward to reduce unnecessary regulatory barriers to affordable housing.
This community has spent a great deal of time and energy quantifying the need for affordable housing and talking about potential solutions.
This is not THE solution to housing affordability but it is a part of the solution. Optimistically, I am reminded of Winston Churchill who famously stated:
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
Based on our analysis, and dependent on the eventual enactment of the aforementioned zoning text amendments, we may look back at March, 2020 as the time we moved past affordable housing theory and started acting on these concepts.
Time will tell which path Charlottesville will choose..
Let’s get to work.
Neil Williamson, President
Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded non partisan public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and Nelson County. For more information visit the website www.freeenterpriseforum.org
Photo Credit: Giphy.com, Charlottesville