Affordable Housing: Is It a Misnomer?

Marie McGregor
English Composition

Affordable Housing: Is it a Misnomer?

      We hear the phrase “affordable housing” and suppose that we know the actual meaning of the term. Wikipedia defines ‘Affordable housing’ as a term used to describe dwelling units whose total housing costs are deemed "affordable" to those that have a median income.’ But what exactly is affordable? The answer to that question would depend on with whom you speak. And, I would imagine, where you live. [Where is your thesis statement?]
      I understand that our governments (local, state, and federal) have all been trying to come up with a solution to the problem of affordable housing. And this has been an on-going problem, not only in Vermont but all over the country. In my research, I have found several articles dating the year 2001. But as there are various “definitions” of affordable housing, the things that actually define the core of the situation are just as varied. Things like rent versus income, minimum wage, housing standards, and so many other things are really what cause “affordable housing” to be not so affordable.
      In some areas, like Chicago, the “solution” to affordable housing is tenancies where all the individuals and families are in “projects.” Cabrini-Green comes to mind. This was place where you wouldn’t even know if your children would make it safely from the bus to the front door, at times, parents had to wonder as they sat in their living room if they were even safe. Cabrini-Green was an area run rampant with poverty and crime. It was also an area where drugs and gangs run so rampant that people felt that one of these two “methods” were their only options on how to live their lives. Thankfully, Cabrini-Green (the affordable housing site in Chicago) was torn down in recent years to pave the way for “mixed-income” housing. The Chicago Housing Authority (that ran Cabrini-Green and was also responsible for the renovation of the area) has now opted for...