Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Transit Enhances Affordable Housing: Is SEWRPC Interested?

SEWRPC's housing advisory committee is meeting in the agency's cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all style: an occasional confab at which members review staff-written chapter drafts.

Is this a prescription for innovation? Is this how new ideas can actually get into the study, which is the first the regional planning body has efforted since 1975?

Not really.

For example, a new report finds that combining transit access with affordable housing deepens the value of the housing. Details here.

Housing and transit, tied together. Sound like something this area needs?

But does the advisory committee, a large body of already-busy volunteers spread across seven counties, have the time and focus to comb data bases and chat up experts to find the latest thinking about housing and how it relates to other public needs?

That's a tall order, and not easily met as SEWRPC's planner on the project churns out chapter drafts at the agency offices in a cubicle in Pewaukee.

And by the way, what happened to that SEWRPC office it was thinking of establishing in the downtown?

Imagine if the offices were at City Hall or the County Courthouse, where some SEWRPC officials and planners were truly accessible.

I know - - never mind.

1 comment:

Ted Bobrow said...

Sigh. I know. It may be obvious but what are the chances that the powers-that-be will connect the dots here? The just-announced $800-plus million in federal funding for high speed rail, the growing support for the KRM and a proposed state bill creating a much needed regional transit authority are positive signs but we've seen this before. How many times have opponents of change played the part of Lucy and pulled the football out from under our region's hopeful Charlie Brown?