It is very revealing that in all the comments of sympathy and advice about one family’s difficulties in finding affordable housing, a post and thread appearing very recently on fbook, not one asks if it is possible for us, as a community, to house ourselves.
The population of Brattleboro has decreased slightly from what it was in 1960. Although there is a relatively small number of new units built every year there is a very large number over that span. As far as I know not one Selectboard in all these years has tried to deal with affordable housing other than approving federally funded projects when one happened to be brought before them. Most of that money dried up long ago. Sixty years have passed and we have more people struggling with housing than ever before.
There is no lack of “bedrooms” in this town. But a very large number are owned by people who live somewhere else. Most often out of the county altogether. Too far to ever see or feel or care how the people who live here are effected. They consider their “right” to profit on housing, a basic and essential necessity, to supercede the right of a person to have a roof over their head at all.
Is it the Selectboard’s responsibility to be fully versed about the housing situation in the town they are leading? Is this a fair question?