To The Editor:

Whether it be from public commentary at township committee meetings or from general discussion, my views on affordable housing are well known. I am a proponent of affordable housing in Chatham and similar communities. 

The resources, riches, and opportunities enjoyed by affluent communities are abundant enough to be shared without much deprivation to the stakeholders; yet they can offer life-changing circumstances to affordable housing residents.

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Property values do not raise or diminish our worth; rather our response, individually and collectively, to those on the outside struggling to get in is what makes us people of worth.

My stance is, affordable housing is long overdue in Chatham. 

Perhaps had Chatham not fought so long to delay, had there been more transparency from our prior elected officials serving on the township committee, and if there was not a “nimby-esque” visceral reaction to affordable housing, Chatham wouldn’t be facing 11th-hour deadlines, compliance issues, and community members who truly feel blindsided by decisions where the affordable housing will be built. 

Whether it be due to litigation or now mediation hopefully there aren’t increased delays in accepting affordable housing and welcoming its residents to our town. 

Even though I staunchly advocate for affordable housing and therefore part ways with much of what is said by others who, for assorted reasons, outcry its advent I do strongly support peoples’ right to be heard and civilly express their opinions. With this in mind, I was bothered after reading occurrences reported in the article “No Love for Red Signs...”(TAP 2/14/20) which was well investigated by its author. 

I wish affordable housing and all it entails was not such a hot and divisive issue in our community. I may even feel disappointed seeing these signs. Yet it is egregious that anyone, especially a public worker or official, would remove them from spots where other signs (including political ones) are placed all the time. Further, it is particularly concerning that a homeowner's private property was disrespected, if so.

Mistake...indeed! It is always a mistake when constitutional rights and privileges are quelled or disregarded. 

I urge the township committee to address this further at its next general meeting.

Thank you for the chance to express my opinion.

            “aunt”Jane Devlin

              Chatham Township