Housing plan didn’t benefit Cannon

Those of us who lived in Washington were amused at what we called the “Washington Monument Syndrome.” When budget cuts were threatened, we were told “we will have to close the Washington Monument.”

No one threatened to close an obscure park in North Dakota; always the Washington Monument.

Clovis is doing the same with its continued emphasis on housing for Air Force personnel and tying it to the Affordable Housing plan. In actuality, had the affordable housing ordinance passed there would be less housing for military personnel because there would be less incentive to build market-rate housing for those who do not qualify for “affordable” or “low-income” housing. Also, if it passed, there would have been inequitable treatment for builders of higher-end and market-rate housing units in permit costs and fees.

MWH Americas, a real estate services company, announced in February plans to build 676 new homes, remodel 361 units and demolish 401 older units in a privatization agreement to help with Cannon’s housing shortage. That would reduce rents in town and foster competition. This may have discouraged builders of new rental unit complexes, as the impact of additional housing on the rental market is unknown.

Low-income rental properties are needed. And, several have been built that did not require city loans or ordinances.

Housing shortages for base personnel would be addressed if the city would butt out and let private industry build what is profitable.

Continued harping on tax credits, grants, and AH ordinances halts construction while builders and investors wait to see what is going to happen.

If we are seriously concerned with helping Cannon, the city should stop issuing inflammatory warnings about needing something that spends tax dollars, and simply enable the private sector to do what it does well in a fair market.