Regarding “Gazette opinion: Confronting workforce housing shortage in Billings” (Aug. 27):

Here’s some of the things the piece ignores.

As someone who pays market rate rent to live in one on my modest salary, I also live near housing that accepts Section 8 vouchers.

The editorial ignores the elephant in the room when it comes to public housing. If you own the property, the value of it drops if public housing is nearby.

The editorial not only ignores that, it ignores why it drops.

It drops because public housing correlates with crime. The editorial writer should visit CrimeMapping.com to see what I mean. Burglaries are higher the closer you get in particular as well as car break-ins and assault.

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Well, then we get down to the nitty gritty. No, it’s not veterans and people working low-income jobs.

It’s people whose children are a paycheck for them from the state. And it’s those children, unsupervised, whose single-parent household does not really clamp down on discipline or school, that get up to trouble out of boredom, etc.

Does the writer ask a cop who’s doing the break-ins? Ask the landlords who don’t accept them why they don’t?

No, it basically glosses over those uncomfortably questions, chasing a narrative I guess was pitched by the advocates for more funding for the project.

Wendy Hall


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