Bristol Redevelopment & Housing Authority

Bristol Redevelopment & Housing Authority

The human costs of (un)affordable housing

Below is a post by Paul Votto with the National Center for Housing Management.  After his introduction, he points to two riveting letters that describe “the human costs of (un)affordable housing.” The letters are a little long, but they are spot-on in pointing out the issues that impact the moral imperative to assure that there is adequate affordable housing in our communities, as well as the lack of economic and supportive service opportunities that make it so difficult.

1/13/2017 11:30:15 AM
By Paul Votto, National Director of Housing Programs

I recently received an email from a gentleman involved in the anti-bullying in senior housing movement (a subject of great interest to me) touting a book on adult bullying by cultural anthropologist Dr. Janice Harper. I look forward to reading the book, but bullying is not actually the focus of this article.

Dr. Harper’s backstory – FBI investigations into possible terrorist activities, allegations of sexual harassment, lawsuits against her former university employer, a derailed career – intrigued me so much that I did some further research; i.e., I did a Google search. In doing so, I came across a very interesting letter Dr. Harper wrote to the editor of the Seattle Weekly News in 2015 and an equally interesting response from another reader, a local landlord.

The letters touch on broad issues of affordable (or unaffordable) housing, homelessness, mental illness, the societal responsibilities of landlords, and a host of other weighty issues, but they do so on a very human scale. The letters bring to the surface issues that those of us who work or have worked in the trenches are all too familiar with, and dramatize the depth of our responsibilities – and the reality of our limitations.  (more…)