News Journal Editorial: 1st County program for work force housing not at taxpayers expense
Wilmington News Journal Editorial
New Castle County provides a site for 'work force housing'
The partnership that New Castle County has with the redevelopers of the soon-to-be-razed Brookview Townhomes bodes well for future housing throughout Delaware.
On Tuesday the County Council authorized a rezoning of the deteriorating Claymont property that legally binds developers to include "work force housing" into their plans.
At the Brookview site, this means that some of the new homes will come with a mortgage cap and sell for a maximum of $165,000, within a new village of shops, restaurants, schools, apartments and homes expected to sell up to $450,000.
This is called "inclusionary housing" -- government assistance so that different social and economic classes live together while the developer profits. Hundreds of other communities also are staking their futures on establishing a new norm for affordable housing.
But the people being forced out of the deteriorating complex are vastly different in terms of income.
Some pay as little as $495 a month, making them ineligible for inclusion without enormous economic support that governments and society at large are no longer willing to offer.
Their prospects for affordable housing remain bleak.
Still, County Executive Chris Coons has championed a potential turning point in housing for the state. That is good, but it doesn't demean that achievement to say Delaware still has a larger problem to conquer, that of incorporating those on the lowest rung of the economic ladder into such living arrangements.
Until then, we commend the county for joining an innovative housing movement -- not at taxpayers' cost, yet very likely to their social and public benefit
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