In Ideas to Consider #12, I wrote about housing affordability and the City of Holland’s efforts to update its zoning ordinance. As I shared, there has been plenty of community pushback with yard signs popping up throughout the town – ‘No to Rezoning’ and letters to the editor claiming that property values will decrease, and Holland will become ‘like Chicago.’
Since my last post, the pushback continues. More signs. More letters claiming property values will decrease and the world as we know it in Holland will end. The same fears over and over magnified louder and louder.
Interestingly, the Salt Lake Tribune published an article on February 22, 2021 entitled: ‘Yes’ in my backyard? Study shows new Salt Lake County apartments actually boost neighbors’ home values. In the article, its author Tony Semerad, notes that a University of Utah study found that ‘Homes in Salt Lake County located within a half-mile of a newly constructed apartment building rose by 10% in median value per year between 2010 and 2019, and those farther away rose by 8.6%.’ It further notes that: ‘While many stereotypes and generalizations about negative impacts are brought up in public settings, high-density development does not actually appear to depress home values.’ (See https://www.sltrib.com/news/2021/02/22/yes-my-backyard-study/?fbclid=IwAR1iP8nXVX8C7jnhoIEI_dg2KQRpqcK6S1wn-eDFP4sp9t5opw06NcIipNk)
Here is my Idea to Consider this week: It is time to stop fear baiting. Everyone. Any side of any aisle. Let’s use data to drive decisions that help people.