Affordable housing is an inherent right for everyone, not merely a privilege. The only way to ensure that everyone has access to affordable housing is to provide an ample supply for our population; this is why I support smart growth principals. Building density along transit corridors helps to secure adequate housing for our wide and varied population, providing a number of housing options for people of different income levels and household sizes. Well-planned density can also help to reduce our community’s carbon footprint because it is more transit and pedestrian friendly, and helps us accomplish our Climate Action Plan goals. Density is also beginning to be seen as an effective storm water management strategy by reducing our paved surfaces and by minimizing the impacts that sprawl has on our water supply and water quality. While density has a great deal of advantages, I also believe that it must be respectful of adjacent neighborhoods. Ensuring that development is attractive and takes appropriate precautions to minimize their impacts on neighborhoods, such as incorporating setbacks and reducing shadowing, are also critical components of building density along transit corridors.
While I do acknowledge the need for affordable housing, it has always been very important to me to be able to also acquire benefits for the community at-large from these projects. Appropriate open space, sufficient setbacks, traffic mitigations and in-lieu fees for the Housing Trust Fund have always been concessions that I have tried to get from developers and more recently, I have been looking toward transportation services fees in order to help expand our public transportation systems, improve pedestrian and bicycle infrastructures, and generally improve alternative transportation methods.