Hampstead project makes sense
Re: “No room on the margins in Hampstead”
(Allison Hanes, Aug. 7)
I was distressed to read the column by Allison Hanes, which seems based on a shallow analysis.
How long should we wait as the building stock on CôteSt-Luc Rd. decays before we allow new development of architecturally beautiful properties?
Hanes says we will lose 26 affordable housing units to be replaced by 90 modern units. However, a number of the better-off tenants (not all are low-income) along Côte-StLuc Rd. will consider moving to the new development. When that happens, more affordable apartments in the older buildings will become available and that will put downward pressure on the rents of all the apartments along Côte-St-Luc Rd. We will end up with more affordable housing, not less.
For singles and young families who want to live in Hampstead but can’t afford the expensive properties, this new development will provide a middle ground between super expensive and very cheap. More residents will bring more vitality to Hampstead.
I make no apologies for seeking more tax revenue for projects that we could otherwise not afford without dramatic tax increases.
The developers can defend their excellent reputation, but I note that they have made arrangements with managers of many properties in the area. These buildings, with affordable rents, will offer any units that become available to the departing tenants prior to advertising the vacancies publicly.
Normally, 100 to 200 units are vacated each year in these properties. Contrary to Hanes’s assertion that the tenants “will most likely be scattered to the wind and exiled from Hampstead,” many will find new homes in Hampstead or very close by. Bill Steinberg, Mayor, Town of Hampstead