The Participation Blog

Finding the Elusive Middle

The us against them mentality is no clearer than in local planning and zoning issues. As the price of real estate keeps home buying out of reach for more people, housing alternatives are struggling to find traction. The mere suggestion of “affordable housing” sends a lot of adjacent, existing homeowners into a meltdown – the classic “haves vs. have-nots.” Affordable is interpreted as cheap, undesirable, a killer of MY property value; it means letting those people in. And nearby “multi-family” terrifies single family neighborhoods. If you’re an urban planner, I’m telling you nothing you don’t know. But Arlington, Virginia found an answer.