Council Member Elizabeth Crowley has reportedly been pulling community board members into her office and asking them to support a plan to allow manufacturing zones abutting railroad property throughout her district to be converted into residential zones to accommodate the construction of low income housing. She has been pitching this as a way to spread “affordable” housing out across the district which she believes will eliminate the need for a homeless shelter. The homeless shelter is a lot closer to fruition than the building of low income housing at this point, and the two issues are apples and oranges anyway.

The city contracts with shelter owners to house homeless people. The building of housing is done lot by lot by private developers in return for a tax break. She must not realize that families in shelters are most likely where they are because they do not have a steady source of income, which is a requirement for the most basic affordable housing on the market. We don’t know where Crowley comes up with her harebrained schemes but if she continues down this road, we will end up with both a shelter and the loss of important manufacturing jobs that allow our own residents to pay for their homes.