Says numbers 'don't add up' - Catholic Courier

Says numbers ‘don’t add up’

To the editor,

I was very distressed to see the article in the September Courier about the new apartments for the homeless. Providence Housing Development Corp., which is affiliated with the diocese according to the article, spent $4.5 million on 21 one-bedroom 600 square feet apartments on Joseph Avenue.

This works out to more than $214,000 per apartment! One could buy at least one, if not 2, 3-4 bedroom houses in any Rochester suburb for the price of one of those apartments!

Something does not add up here.

Karen Zilora

EDITOR’S NOTE: Deacon John McDermott, Providence’s executive director, responds to Ms. Zilora’s concern: "The writer has a very good point. Affordable housing is expensive to build due to higher land costs in the city (to be close to public transportation) and additional requirements imposed by government agencies that help to fund the projects. We also tend to invest more up front in order to reduce the operating costs over time so that the tenants can afford to pay lower rents. However, study after study also shows that these investments can pay back local communities with improved property values and lower public support in other areas by helping people get back on their feet and lead productive and healthier lives."

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