What is the mayor’s definition of affordable housing? Is it based on annual income under $60,000? $40,000? Or less?
What about seniors who receive only Social Security benefits of less than $20,000 a year? Most of us fall into the category of low- or very-low-income. And we must rent apartments because we no longer qualify to own our own homes.
I believe Bellingham apartments are outrageously expensive for low-income independent seniors, who often must choose between food and medicine (or both) in order to pay rent and utilities. Affordable housing is not the answer when it comes to low-income folks.
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I’d like to see this large category of affordable housing defined by income parameters. And I’d like to know the percentage of local seniors who qualify for low-income affordable housing. I’ll bet the number is astoundingly high.
Are we trying to make Bellingham a place only for younger working people and well-off seniors who are fortunate enough to have higher retirement incomes? I think we’re pricing out a large part of our citizens. Where can we live? Where will we go? How can we be useful volunteers if we don’t have housing we can afford?