Saying that I am appalled by the recent NTH column by Ken Schaefer, "Coweta should aim higher than ‘affordable housing’" is a vast understatement. Mr. Schaefer uses the HUD definition, "affordable home dwellers have restrictive resources.” Duh. What else would one expect? Livable housing does equate to a slum and does not mean that the dwellers do not work hard, have money to spend, and contribute to their communities.
Mr. Schaefer further states that "... history clearly demonstrates 'affordable housing' is a euphemism for cheap, crowded home sites, that eventually deteriorate in blighted eyesores…." Regulations like the city of Newnan now have can prevent this. Required upkeep and appearance would be the law.
New materials like ceramic-based building materials, aluminum siding and roofing could become the norm, making upkeep and appearance easier to maintain. The Newnan area has many older "mill village" houses that have been made into nice livable homes.
Young people need housing, and there is no reason why they should not have affordable homes available. According to my sources, the average new home sells for around $200,000. With the average salary around $44,000 and the median family income around $57,000, these homes become barely affordable if at all, and many families earn considerably less.
In addition, the down payment for an FHA loan for this amount would run $7,000-$20,000, depending upon credit scores. I know many young people who work hard but, with the low minimum wage paid and fewer job opportunities, will never achieve the American Dream.
We should and must make affordable housing available.