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Chester County Press

Affordable housing and trojan horses: Beware of developers bearing ‘solutions’

To the Editor:

There has been a lot of talk about affordable housing (re: “Make Housing More Affordable in Kennett Borough,” that was written by Luke Zubrod and published in the April 24 edition of the Chester County Press).  

When I hear solutions offered by non-profits with a record of returns on investment, I listen eagerly. When I hear solutions offered by for-profit businesses, I listen more critically, especially for Trojan Horses. These are solutions that might look great at first glance but that, if unwittingly adopted, wreak havoc once inside our neighborhoods. Consider Zubrod’s push for relaxing regulations limiting Accessible Dwelling Units (ADUs) in the Borough of Kennett Square.  How do you assure quality in ADUs squeezed above garages scattered across the borough with a hodge podge of landlords? 

It is a regulatory nightmare and a piecemeal solution that even Zubrod agrees would barely dent the problem. Perhaps it is just a coincidence that Zubrod’s solution would be a boon to developers, who could pack people into properties they already own, with no recourse by neighbors. To understand where the interests of most developers lie, just look at the newest buildings going up in Kennett, some of them cramming dozens of apartments into every available square foot… and none of them affordable.   

Enough talk. We have a proven non-profit in Kennett Area Community Services (KACS), with no interest but to make Kennett Square better. We also have a way to move forward immediately; now recognized as a Community Housing Development Organization, KACS can tap immediately into state funding once houses have been acquired, so Zubrod and others eager to help families in need can now do more than just talk. It’s time to act - let’s get KACS the support they need. 

Peter Doehring
Kennett Township