our view Senior housing plan should help Beaumont
Subsidized housing is a controversial topic, but there’s one form of it that generates less opposition — housing for seniors. That’s what an Indianapolis-based developer is proposing for northwest Beaumont, and it deserves the support of the City Council and Beaumont residents.
Beaumont has to do something about its flat population growth. One clear way to do that would be to provide housing that people can actually afford to live in and thus keep them here. The proposal put forth last week seems like a reasonable way to help low-income seniors and the city in general.
The developer wants to build a 77-unit apartment complex on 11.5 acres on the northwest corner of Veteran’s Circle. The rooms would have high-quality finishes and appliances, according to the builder, as well as planned activities.
The company would help finance the project by applying for tax credits from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Similar projects have been proposed before in Beaumont and other parts of Southeast Texas, sometimes sailing through and sometimes generating pushback.
It’s hard to see why anyone would oppose this plan. Those 100 or so residents would buy food, clothing and supplies at local businesses. Without something like this, they might not live here. The city and the region have a shortage of affordable housing, like many parts of the country. Instead of constantly bemoaning this fate, public officials should take active steps to remedy it — such as supporting projects like this.
Because of the local housing shortage, this project wouldn’t compete with any private-sector landlords, a common and valid complaint about some government programs. Generally speaking, when an affordable rental house or apartment becomes available in Beaumont, it is spoken for quickly.
Our main emphasis should be on adding young professionals and young families. They will fill the jobs of the future and put down the kinds of roots that can help a community grow. But a diverse, vibrant city needs all kinds of people, and that certainly includes older residents. Beaumont has no shortage of people who could live in these apartments.
Senior citizens don’t join gangs or hold rowdy late-night parties. They are about as law-abiding as any segment of our society.
If someone has a better way to boost population growth in Beaumont, let them come forward now. If they don’t, or in the meantime, let’s proceed with this one. It’s real, not theoretical, and it needs action soon.