Driving by the new affordable/senior housing development on Givens Lane, I had a couple of observations.
First, this new development has displaced low-income families, disabled individuals and seniors living on Social Security who were paying about $300/month with new housing that costs $435/month for a 1-bedroom unit.
It is not affordable for those who lost their homes to development. The problem is that affordable is defined by the average medium income or AMI. It is based on census data. In Blacksburg and Montgomery County, the data is skewed because of Virginia Tech.
Tech students are counted twice, once here and again where their parents live. This results in the AMI appearing to be higher than if it were based solely on the full time local residents living in the community year round.
Thus, affordable becomes unaffordable for most local residents; however, it is affordable for students and their parents.
Secondly, there are six structures on the site at this time. Two of the structures are single story. The other four appear to be three-story units with stairs similar to Foxridge, Terrace View and other developments.
There are very few, if any, seniors looking to move into a place with stairs to climb. Stairs make it difficult for an aging population to age in place. The other consideration is ADA compliance and accessibility for persons with mobility impaired disabilities that are permanent or temporary.
There are ways to meet the legal requirements of the law without fulfilling the practical needs for accessibility.
Given just these two observations, it is clear that the new development on Givens Lane will not be the affordable/senior housing we were looking forward to having in the county and Town of Blacksburg.