THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Now is not time to pull away safety net for housing

October 7, 2010

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I AGREED with much of Tom Keane’s Sept. 27 op-ed “40B in voters’ backyard.’’ However, I would argue that the issue isn’t “narrow self-interest,’’ but rather extreme shortsightedness. Those who want to repeal chapter 40B and prohibit change in their communities need to recognize that we are undergoing a drastic economic shift. Now is not the time to eliminate a law that provides both a safety net in housing and desperately needed jobs.

I live in a noncompliant town, and the reality in my neighborhood is foreclosures, elderly couples leaving the community, and young families leaving the state. Rental properties are hard to come by as displaced families try to keep their kids in the school system. But how long will we continue to have a top-tier school system if our kids can’t afford to live here and raise their own families?

All of us are but one divorce, extended layoff, bankrupt client, medical crisis, or six-figure student loan away from being in those people’s shoes.

Constructive input into 40B would be forward-thinking and could lead to sustainable growth. Eliminating 40B would be living in an unsustainable past. I plan to vote no on Question 2, and hope that my neighbors will have the foresight to do the same.

Diane K. Danielson
Cohasset

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