Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Affordable housing debate needs more nuance

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To the editor:

In the wake of the recent Community Voices article “Santa Cruz needs more housing density; misguided advocates are making our housing problems worse,” several important points deserve attention.

First, the article seems to understate the significance of the inclusionary ordinance, a cornerstone of the housing initiative. This ordinance mandates affordable housing units in new developments, which directly contributes to our community’s well-being and affordability.

Second, framing housing policy solely in terms of supply and demand oversimplifies a complex issue. The real challenge lies in achieving a delicate balance between supply and affordability, rather than endorsing a simplistic “trickle-down” approach.

Furthermore, there appears to be a misunderstanding regarding the democratic aspect of the initiative. It doesn’t necessitate voting for every development; instead, it comes into play when there are changes to zoning or height regulations. This preserves community input and prevents unilateral decisions.

Last, criticizing projects for exceeding height limits due to state density bonuses might miss the bigger picture. These bonuses are designed to encourage affordable housing, aligning with state policies.

In summary, while the article raises valid concerns about the housing initiative, it tends to overlook critical elements such as the promotion of affordable housing, the importance of community participation and the role of state density bonuses. A more comprehensive assessment is necessary to fully understand the potential benefits of the initiative.

Marv Lewis
Santa Cruz