Letter: County needs affordable condos
To the editor of THE EAGLE:
"Wealth gap -- what it is and why it matters," and "Green light for condo projects" are two recent headlines in The Eagle which shine a beacon on a problem right here in our own backyard.
Many of our neighbors are ready and eager to downsize to condo living. Joy would abound in their hearts if they could locate and purchase one in their familiar neighborhood right here in the Berkshires where they have lived and worked.
The condominium projects snapshot indicates that at least six condo projects are being built with prices ranging from what is called a low of $359,500 to a high of $3 million. The Eagle states that there is a waiting list of 40 prospective buyers for those at the top range of the condos in the million-plus dollar range. It states that these buyers are not expected to be year-round residents.
Meanwhile, The Eagle also points out that the median household income is $51,017, and at the same time, our president highlighted in his State of the Union address that income inequality is a much-needed focus of all of us and that it impacts every single aspect of well-being for our entire nation.
Condos affordable to our own Berkshire residents as opposed to those for out-of-town buyers who already own more than one home should become a priority for our attention and future direction. The sad reality is that this need is not being currently addressed in a compassionate and forward thinking way. Likely there are many more than 40 households who would be on a waiting list for purchase if affordable condos would be built.
The current building plan for condominium living being supported by our towns is only serving to widen the gap between income groups and is only satisfying the desires of those with very high incomes. It neglects the needs and desires of those very citizens who are our majority and who have and continue to contribute to the nit and grit of making our towns work.
A change in priorities would be very welcomed and is very much needed.
NAOMI K. RAUFF
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