As a lifetime resident of Williamstown, I am writing to whole-heartedly support the use of the Lowry and Burbank properties as possible sites for affordable housing.
It has been apparent for many years that Williamstown is sorely lacking in housing which is affordable, and the Spruces tragedy only served to bring this dire need to the forefront. The residents of The Spruces are our neighbors and they, as well as other families in need of quality housing, deserve the opportunity to have homes which are safe and affordable.
The "not in my backyard" mentality is analogous to only giving the canned food you don’t like to the post office when they solicit for their food drive. As my wise daughter said as we once scanned the kitchen cabinets for canned food to give to the mail carrier, "it seems that we only give the stuff that we don’t want to eat to less fortunate people." Shamed by her observation, the cans of tripe and lima beans went back on the shelf, and more desirable foods like corn and pasta were given in their place. I hope you get my point.
Why do we only wish to give those in need of decent and affordable housing only the property that no one wants? Or even worse, will we allow ourselves to make rules of zoning and conservation so stringent and difficult that there may be no place for housing of this type anywhere in our town?
Will many who are also lifelong residents, who may also be elderly, be forced to move away because Williamstown cannot provide adequately priced housing?
It seems the desire to preserve a good view is more important to some people than the quality of life of our neighbors. The opinion that only some of us deserve a good view, or only some of us deserve to live in a nice neighborhood, or that pretty land is more important than a decent quality of life for all of our residents is pretty elitist, and this is not the hometown that I remember and am proud to call mine.
Please support the use of the Lowry and Burbank properties for affordable housing, as this need is great, and the residents of this town are great in heart and have a large and generous spirit. Let’s do what’s right for all residents of Williamstown, present and future.
Alison Roe O’Grady