Fitchburg’s quest to provide affordable housing is laudable, but the project needs clarification. For whom is it intended? Is it senior housing for people who are above a specified age? Is it affordable senior housing for people above a specific age who make less than 60 percent of Dane County’s median income level? Or is it affordable housing meant for citizens of any age whose income meets Dane County’s requirement?
I’ve seen all the terms used interchangeably even within one article or city document, but none have included a comprehensive definition of intended residents. It’s important to know who it’s intended for so accommodations can be made for such things as personal accessibility, access to city and commercial services, parking, schools and public transportation.
In addition, each kind of housing needs specific governance defining who will be qualified to live there. All of this should be completed well before evaluating a blueprint or voting on a proposal.
Clarifying who is in the greatest need of affordable housing helps determine what kind of housing is needed, its appropriate governance and where it should be built.
City of Fitchburg