As the cost of housing goes up in a community, people may not be able to afford to live there so they move further out. Moving further away from hot markets may be stopping people from working in locations with higher wages. This impedes the ability of businesses to hire workers and is not good for local economies. home affordability is an economic issue. Take Indiana, my state, which is one of the top manufacturing states in the Midwest. Manufacturers have been screaming because they have the factory jobs, but the communities where they do business don’t have enough affordable workforce housing homes between $100,000 and $250,000.
While I agree that new housing in and around our community can address some of the recent housing challenges, and that we have a real opportunity to help our community/the economy in the long term, we must balance this with the future needs of the residents/workers we are dealing with. In areas like this, such as Pittsfield, I think we will have some negative ramifications on our overall community economy, not only in terms of loss of jobs and negative impacts on residents, but also potential future property and sales tax tax revenues that could be better spent elsewhere in the city. My desire is for us to spend some of that money on amenities that help residents, and then return the tax revenue to help us in other areas. Any sort of tax increase in the city of Pittsfield should be heavily debated within the community, and not as a one-size-fits-all action that is all or nothing.
On the positive side, new housing construction creates construction jobs and generates economic investment that benefits the neighborhood. The more new housing we build, the more jobs we create, and the more economic investment we create, the greater the community will benefit. Building new housing creates new economic investment, but there are many barriers, such as the potential impact on traffic and access to work and transportation for workers.
Also, an influx of new residents with money and resources will also bring new congestion that makes driving more and more expensive, putting a strain on transit. The introduction of a new housing development will create new commercial activity, which will serve residents and industry as well. However, there are numerous important things to consider before the community begins to consider new housing development and how the impact on the community will unfold. The proposed 15,000 to 25,000 new residents over the next 10 to 15 years will lead to the creation of new demand for real estate. Pittsfield is currently a commuter-centric city. Some areas where people have “coastal surfer” complaints. We will need a plan in place to alleviate traffic and access to the city.
The infrastructure needs to be in place for new housing development to be developed as smoothly as possible. With new residents, developers will want to upgrade schools and streets as well as bring in merchants for shopping and dining. This will put pressure on the schools and city services, which will cause complaints from people along the corridor. This will have an impact on quality of life, driving up the cost of living. It may have an impact on water and sewer rates as well.