on Housing


A White Paper on Affordable Housing, 
by Thomas N. George

















page last updated December 07, 2016

Perspectives on 



       Is the number of available and affordable homes sufficient to meet the needs of our community?  The answer depends on whom you ask.  Some people fear that building more homes will compromise the community's way of life.  Other people applaud new-home building because they feel it will attract talented people and their young families to the community.

       Some people fear that increasing the number of affordable homes will attract homeless people from distant communities.  Others fear that without more affordable homes, more people in our community will become homeless. 

       The Larson Report is pleased to publish "A White Paper on Affordable Housing" by Thomas N. George, formerly Massachusetts State Representative, First Barnstable District.  We encourage you to send us your reaction to this article (  We will publish as many responses as we can.

       In addition, readers may want to read Edward Glaeser and Joseph Gyourko's "Zoning's Steep Price," published by the Cato Institute and available in pdf format over the Internet.

       Sustainability and land-use issues share a berth with affordable housing issues.  In the belief that good design is the answer to everyone's concerns, site planners and landscape architects are at the forefront of the movement to apply principles of sustainability to the design and building of affordable housing.  

       The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) has been making substantial headway in meeting the multifaceted objectives that need to be addressed in community development.  Also, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a wellspring of information on community planning and development, zoning regulations, and affordable housing. 

       The Housing Assistance Corporation, serving Barnstable, Massachusetts, has the most up-to-date statistics on homelessness in the area.  It is at the center of the people expressing a need for more housing and the people expressing a fear of more housing. 

       The following organizations can provide excellent resources and up-to-date information on this important issue:


       The Larson Report would like to know what our readers' thoughts are on the subject of affordable housing.  Is it a true issue or a nonissue?  What does the community stand to gain or lose from the various community planning initiatives afoot?  Send us your ideas (, and we will publish as many as we can.

Go to "A White Paper on Affordable Housing,"
by Thomas N. George"