Before the pandemic, one of the biggest problems in my hometown of Orlando was affordable housing. It was a puzzle that politicians and “experts” couldn’t solve and the entire process was overseen by greedy developers and realtors, who were counting on neighborhood stigma to stall the entire process.
It did. Sadly, Orlando remains a terrible place for affordable housing.
This is why the progress we’re seeing in Ashwaubenon is promising (story HERE).
Of course, “The Gridiron” still has a long way to go and local leaders and residents will have to remain vigilant against organizations that decide to make this about making money instead of enriching the lives of residents.
They’ll also have to redefine “affordable housing” a term many associate with slums and low quality apartments for poor people and criminals.
The truth is that first responders, teachers, and other important members of the community don’t make a lot of money and they live in affordable housing too.
Some early objections are also over the mixed use part of the development. There needs to be some give and take among residents, and the mission should always remain the same. Ensuring everyone has the fair chance to live well in our communities.
The potential rewards of doing this correctly are great. They could be a model for the rest of the country. Including my hometown of Orlando.
How inspiring would that be?