Editor: Over the past few months of campaigning around town, a number of residents and families have talked to me about how hard it is to find affordable apartments for young adults who are just beginning their careers. Our town is doing good work generating jobs that attract people here and, over the past few years, the options for arts and entertainment in Leesburg have exploded. However, for those at the start of their careers, it can be difficult to afford to live in our wonderful town.
The next Town Council should make reasonably priced living options a priority. Affordable housing located near restaurants, arts and entertainment venues will not only increase the customers and foot traffic that our downtown businesses need, but also enhance the population balance of our town. Balanced towns thrive because they’re able to flexibly manage changing needs, with diverse skills and interests mutually contributing to local prosperity.
The Council and Planning Commission can begin by giving preference to development applications that include reasonably priced housing. These options can, and should, be part of plans that also include age-limited options along with the other housing we’ve become accustomed to seeing proposed by developers. Welcoming young professionals into our neighborhoods makes the bindings of a community strong, ensuring our Town retains its integrity through whatever challenges may come.
Evan Macbeth, Leesburg
[The writer is a candidate for the Leesburg Town Council.]