A Message from Our Chief Executive Officer – September 2021
As youngsters, most of us view the built environment almost as the natural world. The places we spend our time – home, school, parks, roads, shops – are just sort of “there”. Generally, we don’t think much about how they got there, if we ever do, until we get older. Then we might begin to realize that the built environment didn’t just “happen”. What gets built and where reflects the regional geography and topography. It also reflects human impacts and influences, determined by local priorities and needs, which themselves are usually defined by local politics and financial considerations.
As an affordable housing developer, Archway regularly confronts the many challenges associated with real estate development: financial, political and market forces, to name just a few. Too often, this also includes NIMBYism, which refers to “Not In My Backyard”, the term used to describe the dynamic associated with neighbors opposing certain types of projects they believe will adversely impact their communities: things like sewage treatment plants, high tension power lines, highways, and, all too often, affordable housing projects.
NIMBYism related to affordable housing is often driven by fear and lack of familiarity with affordable housing’s impact on a community. The two primary concerns are that such projects will increase crime and lower property values in their communities. Yet there is substantial research demonstrating that affordable housing projects lower crime rates and increase property values. https://www.enterprisecommunity.org/blog/07/20/correcting-the-record-on-affh-property-values-and-crime
In 2019, the housing deficit in Colorado was estimated to be 175,000. https://commonsenseinstituteco.org/co-housing-blueprint/ This was before the pandemic-fueled boom in demand for Colorado housing. Like the national deficit in affordable housing, Colorado’s shortfall will not be made up anytime soon based on current production volume. This is why Archway is committed to doing all we can to increase the supply of affordable housing in Colorado. We understand that, among a host of other problems, we are likely to face the challenge of NIMBYism wherever we work and we are prepared for that. Challenge accepted!
I welcome the opportunity for dialogue on the affordable housing crisis and the fear associated with affordable housing’s impact on the community. Please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org