Dear Editor: When I first moved to Madison I was shocked by the high cost of housing. I moved into a cheap, mismanaged, 300-square-foot studio that reeked of secondhand smoke. My housing was not ideal, but the reality for numerous others in Madison is much worse. The high cost of housing in Madison forces many residents to either live beyond their means, leading them to financial instability, or becoming homeless.
Madison is a great place to live, but it still has a long way to go in offering affordable housing to its citizens. I believe Mayor Soglin’s new Affordable Housing Strategy has potential. By offering long-term supportive housing to the homeless and providing affordable housing options to a variety of income levels, Soglin’s plan appears to be a comprehensive and well-thought-out approach to alleviating the burden of high-cost housing.
I understand some homeowners in Madison may be concerned about the property value of their homes dropping. However, well-managed affordable housing looks very different from poorly managed affordable housing. Instead of opposing the new Affordable Housing Strategy, concerned homeowners should get informed about recent research on how affordable housing can minimize its effect on property values. By being informed we can better hold our government officials accountable to proceeding with the affordable housing plans in a wise and informed manner. With the input and support of us all I believe the new Affordable Housing Strategy can serve the greater good of Madison’s residents.