Housing Mythbusters

Thank You!

We were pleased to receive several emails in response to our first Mythbusters.  

A few questions were about the upcoming Information Meeting. One email said that they were tired of only hearing about the negative aspects of Affordable Housing and hoped that we would present the positive side. We will, indeed. We will publish our agenda as we get closer to the date, but we plan to a have number of experts on various aspects of the subject there to inform you.

Many of the emails were questions based on myths heard recently. We address two more here.
Myth #2: The State of Connecticut will dictate to GHT who will live in our Affordable Housing. It Won’t Be Our Young and Our Seniors as GHT says.
The myth is that because we access State funds for our project, the GHT is really not going to be able to serve the people that GHT says are the target – those who grow up here, those who work here, and our seniors.

NOT TRUE

First, what we all must acknowledge is that if someone like the Goshen Housing Trust does not create housing that is of a type (e.g., smaller, accessible to disabled, suitable for seniors, grounds maintained, etc.) and affordable (i.e., rent or mortgage plus taxes, utilities, and insurance are less than 30% of household income) then our kids and our seniors will all move away, and we will continue to have a hard time attracting workforce-aged citizens. We have no housing options suitable for these groups today, as we have documented elsewhere.

All the State of Connecticut requires of us is that we agree to restrict the income level of qualified buyers/residents to a level below the Area Median Income for our Town. Our Area Median Income is quite high ($96,800) so these limits encompass many of the jobs that our Town depends on – teachers, municipal workers, craftsmen, retail workers, etc.

Our housing will be open to anyone interested in living here who also qualifies

Prime among those that we are sure will be interested are our own kids, our seniors, those who work here in Town, and those that have accepted a job here. 

But just as none of us can discriminate in selling our homes, neither can GHT. We can’t say we will only sell to people from our Town, and neither can you.

We will accept applications from anyone who follows our process.
In the case of a rental unit, an applicant must first meet the income level qualifier. They must be employed. Their household income must be enough to pay the housing costs and those costs cannot exceed 30% of their household income. Their total household income can be no more than the maximum we allow and agreed upon with the State. They must be able to pay an application fee and a two-month security deposit.
They must also meet household size limits set for each unit based on the number of bedrooms. 

Beyond this we will apply a consistent set of screening criteria to any applicant. These will include background criminal checks, credit history, work history, income verification, recommendations from prior landlords, prior history of legal or behavioral issues and more.  

We cannot apply these checks in a discriminatory way, but we can apply them fairly to all candidates. 

The experience of the affordable housing groups in the towns around us is that our kids, our seniors, and those who work here will be the biggest customers for our housing simply because they have the biggest motivation to live in Goshen.  

However, any candidate that passes these extensive screening qualifications will be welcome to live here and will be a positive contributor to our community.
Myth #3: The Directors of the Goshen Housing Trust and Bob Valentine are all Making Money Somehow from this.
We have heard this over and over. The Myth is that we are all doing this because we are going to get rich building housing in Goshen. One we heard is that Bob Valentine is going to retire and make millions running the housing we build.

IT'S SAD

It is sad to even have to try to address this one. It brings into question the scruples of those who oppose what we are trying to do.

Goshen is a town that is built on the volunteer spirit.  Volunteers are at the core of our municipal government. Volunteers serve on Boards and Commissions and put in countless hours to make our town run smoothly. Beyond this, many of the services that other towns must pay for out of their budgets are provided by community-centric non-profit corporations composed of volunteers (e.g., Goshen Community Care and Hospice, Good Neighbors Fund, Historical Society, Agricultural Society, Goshen Land Trust, Friends of the Goshen Library, etc.). 

Why is it so hard to accept that GHT, a group of community-centric volunteers trying to address the housing issues of our town, don’t have an ulterior motive? 

The people of our Town are the ones who raised these housing issues through our Planning and Zoning Commission’s planning efforts. We didn’t make this up.

Our Bylaws, which are posted on our website, clearly say that a Director cannot be compensated. We are all volunteers.

We are a 501c3 and subject to monitoring and regulation by both the IRS and the State of Connecticut. Those regulations say that no one associated with the GHT can benefit, directly or indirectly, from GHT’s business. 

But more important, please look at our list of directors. We are your neighbors. You probably know some of us. If you don’t know us all, ask a couple of people and you will find someone who does know us. We are not doing this for personal gain.

Finally, for the record, Bob Valentine is not a Director of the GHT. He does not vote on GHT matters. He attends our meetings ex officio as First Selectman and advises us on the Town’s perspective. We have appreciated his involvement. However, we do not pay Bob Valentine and we have no arrangement with him to make "millions of dollars" doing anything involving our housing at any time in the future.

As previous stated, it is sad to have to address this Myth.


REPORT THOSE MYTHS!

Have you heard a MYTH? Let us know so we can address it.

Send your MYTHs to GoshenHousing@optonline.com

Thank you!

ATTEND OUR INFORMATION MEETING

Please join us and plan to attend our first Information Meeting on July 27th, Registration is required but there is plenty of room!

Learn about why affordable housing is important for Goshen.

Register today by clicking on the button below.
Visit Our Website at http: www.GoshenHousingTrust.org