To the Editor:

Since so much talk these days is about Affordable Housing it might be helpful to have some background information about it, and its difference from low income housing.

Low income housing dates as far back as the 19th century, as efforts were being made by the government even then to improve the living conditions for Americans living in substandard conditions primarily in urban areas. People eligible for public housing are those whose yearly income is at or below 50% of the mean income for families living in the community. They might be the elderly, persons with disabilities, families or those receiving public assistance.

Affordable housing, by contrast, is defined as that housing which middle income families could pay for without spending more than 30% of income on housing and its related costs. Applicants could be families, singles, seniors and people with disabilities. In recent years, the percentage of our population defined as middle income has increased dramatically, making the need for affordable housing even more urgent than formerly.

Southbury is now confronting this issue. It is cheering that the Strategic Plan Commission has chosen to make as one priority the exploration of the best use of town-owned land. This baby step could move us in the direction of finding a site (sites?) for our affordable housing, after which serious work could proceed to make this a reality.

Other towns have already done so. In case you missed the announcement, Woodbury has already formulated a plan for its affordable housing, and has called a Town Meeting to present the details to its taxpayers. Get it together, Southbury.

Louise P. Duke


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