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Falling Short: In search of affordable housing

The Public's Radio released a deeply researched story, this week, by their South County Reporter Alex Nunes: In Charlestown, limited progress and lots of discord on affordable housing.

Like in other South County towns, home prices have skyrocketed in Charlestown in recent years, as young people and families are being priced out of a shoreline community that’s becoming increasingly attractive to out-of-state buyers. But Charlestown is also near the bottom of the heap with its neighbors in creating affordable housing. The town is divided over who’s to blame for that. In part four of our series "Falling Short: In search of affordable housing," we hear how some say it’s part of an intentional effort in recent years to limit growth.

Like all reporting by The Public's Radio, this article is not behind a firewall. We strongly urge you to read it in full.

While broader trends in the housing market are driving Charlestown’s unaffordability, some people in town say actions taken by town leaders in recent years are contributing to the problem and standing in the way of solutions to the housing crisis.

“When it comes to building affordable housing, we encounter problems when it comes to the planning commission,” said Thom Cahir, a member of the Charlestown Affordable Housing Commission. “[It] seems like there's always some sort of exclusionary zoning that we encounter. The planning commission doesn't really plan. They seem to be an obstruction to most things in the town.”

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