To the editor:

In Gordon Baird’s column “Cash vs character,” there is one statement that he makes as follows: ”Most lifelong residents are pretty happy with Gloucester the way it’s been.” So true! And include me in that group.

What is not said is that Gloucester and beyond is experiencing a housing crisis like never before. It affects real people that many of us know, many of whom are lifelong residents. Home prices are too high, rents are too high for too many people. So dedicated volunteers should be commended for trying to solve a problem.

The proposed zoning amendments alone won’t solve the housing crisis but, as an example, it could help elderly homeowners who don’t want to move, can’t afford to stay and are restricted by zoning rules. As Gloucester’s population becomes more elderly on a percentage basis more people will be looking for solutions to stay in their homes. We have an obligation to make available decent affordable housing for our lifelong residents as well as newcomers and this is what our volunteer boards and individuals are trying to do without destroying the character of our city.

Change is happening. We can stay happy with the way it’s been in Gloucester and watch home prices and rents become more and more unaffordable — along with visible increases in homelessness — or we can try to solve the problem together.

Robert Gillis

Gloucester

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