The Barrington Times will be asking candidates for Town Council and School Committee a question every week leading up to the Nov. 6 election. Candidates have a 40 word limit for responses. Here is the first question for Town Council candidates.
Would you favor a repeal or alteration of the state’s affordable housing mandate, which was enacted in 2004 and requires at least 10 percent of a community’s housing stock be affordable?
DON NESSING — “Yes. Affordable housing brings additional costs to the town without an adequate amount of new tax revenue needed to offset the rise in expenses. Translation: Without a course correction taxes are going up and services will be cut.”
JUNE SPEAKMAN — “I would request that our state legislators and RI Housing assess the effectiveness of the statute, with emphasis on how units are labeled and counted as affordable, and whether 10 percent is a reasonable goal for built-out communities like Barrington.”
KATE WEYMOUTH — “I would favor either change, provided there is consistent ‘affordable’ housing stock available, including rentals, to allow those who serve this community the opportunity to live here. (i.e. police, firefighters, local business employees, first-step teachers, librarians and other Town workers).’”
SHIRLEY APPLEGATE-LOCKRIDGE — “I support the repeal of affordable housing mandates. Until then, towns should be encouraged to meet the need for affordable housing by rehabilitating existing stand-alone residences, not with new high density developments, allowing market forces to determine appropriate prices.”
MARGARENT KANE — “Your question implies nothing can be done WITHOUT repeal of the affordable statutes. I will challenge that the current interpretation by RI Housing, (not in the interest of Barrington taxpayers) is the right/only one. I don’t believe it is.”
ANN STRONG — “Because the current law is unduly complicated and open to conflicting interpretation, I favor repeal. Partly, the legislation encourages higher density changing the character of established neighborhoods. All this building for only 30 years of use as an income-restricted unit?”