Is what’s good for Springfield also good for Amherst? Friend of Pioneer Peter A. Gagliardi, leader of nonprofit housing developer HAP, Inc., has found that where one stands on affordable housing depends on where one’s property sits.
Qualified families in both towns languish on waiting lists for decent homes, yet Springfield welcomes new construction, while Amherst fought a HAP project in court for five years.
Gagliardi is the author of both a Pioneer housing paper and one of the best “Dear Deval” pre-inauguration Globe op-eds. He’s also a veteran, having slogged for decades through the mud hidden behind good intentions and pretty speeches about affordable housing.
As proven by Gagliardi’s experience, as well as his research, those who would increase the housing supply face a very different task in wealthier single-family-home communities than they do in the city. The lesson is that unless state-level regulations and incentives can adapt to this market disparity, those waiting lists will only get longer.