I attended the affordable housing forum sponsored by the Chattanooga City Council's housing committee and was surprised at the factual frankness of the Regional Planning Agency's report, which clearly stated that the current zoning of the city's urban core is a major cause of the excess amount of high-income housing in the downtown area and the lack of affordable housing for low- and middle-income people who work there.
Developers present spoke of the challenges of making the kind of profits they expect from building high-income housing downtown. None of them spoke positively about a new zoning ordinance to ensure an increase in low and moderate income housing or new methods of financing such construction and maintenance.
They favored the city continuing to provide incentives to subsidize continued construction of high income housing by zoning variances and other means. Nothing was said about the unused Frazier Condominium porches and the reeking sewer air that rests on them at eventide.
The Westside Community Association's Affordable Housing Ordinance, which is under consideration by the City Council was not mentioned at the public forum, but it seems it is being condemned by developers behind closed doors.
In response to the letter "Firefighters didn't do job," (Nov. 23), we would like to encourage residents of Belvoir Estates to read the many letters of thanks the East Ridge Fire Department has received from business owners whose establishments were saved, from homeowners whose homes and belongings were saved.
We would really encourage residents of Belvoir Estates to talk with all the mothers and fathers of the children who our ERFD saved from burning homes, from vehicles where they and their children were trapped in, and to the mothers of the babies who our ERFD gave breath back to a lifeless body.
After that, can the residents of Belvoir Estates look into the faces of the business owners, homeowners, and the parents of the saved children, and say that the ERFD is incompetent and unprepared.
The following is part of one of many letters our ERFD received:
"Tonight I sit here watching my baby boy sleep, because of all of you. I can never express what I feel in my heart, and thank you will never be enough. You saved his life. I know now he wasn't expected to live, and because of you my son is here with me tonight. ..."
PAT QUEEN, East Ridge