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Concerned over low-income housing
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To the Editor: As a resident and taxpayer of Richmond Hill, I wish to express my concerns about the federally-subsidized, low-income housing project being planned for our community. Park Crest Terrace will be a 79 unit rental facility, to be constructed near Hwy. 144 at Sterling Creek, roughly midway between Magnolia Manor and Publix.
My understanding of Section 42 public housing it that the developer is paid for construction costs by the federal government, in the form of tax credits, which can then be sold to corporations in wishing to reduce their federal tax payments. In return, the developer must reserve the apartments for low income residents.
I am not opposed to development, and am sensitive the need for low-income housing. Clearly, planning for Richmond Hill includes many additional residential units over the next decade. But there is good development and bad development; Park Crest Terrace seems to fall into the latter category. My concern is based in part on results of prior federal housing programs, which have not always been beneficial to the hosting communities. It is fair to predict that a high-density development of this type will in fact impede future development of our Richmond Hill community and discourage new residents.
Who will benefit from this project?  Certainly the developer, through the generous tax credits and the rent he is paid. The lucky corporation who purchases the tax credits from the developer will benefit from reduced federal taxes.  But what will Richmond Hill be left with?  I can predict the following: greater traffic, expense for expanded infrastructure, higher law enforcement costs, and much higher educational expenses.
It is imperative that we carefully evaluate the impact of high density low income housing on our community. As planning proceeds for the Park Crest Terrace  project, Richmond Hill residents should contact their elected representatives on city council and share their opinions with them.

Steve Weiss
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