Editor: I want to lend my support to a letter written by Shawn Mitchell in your Sept. 16 issue. Recently, I’ve been speaking out about the need for attainable housing in Loudoun County because economic diversity provides so many tangible and intangible benefits to our wonderful community.
I now would like to add some context from my life as a small businessowner dependent on a healthy business environment. Like many other small businesses in our county, my livelihood depends on the success of other local enterprises. If we fail to address the growing housing affordability problem, I can envision a future in which new and growing businesses will have to find other locations that can more affordably house their employees. And while no one will feel bad for the loss of one small business like mine, many will mourn the loss of the local businesses who support our daily needs, the restaurants that support our social souls, and the medical offices ensuring our health. I, for one, don’t want to find myself needing to wait hours for a restaurant table, days for a plumber, or weeks for a doctor’s appointment. Having seen the impact of the current pandemic-related labor shortages on many small businesses, I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic.
Yes, the challenge seems overwhelming; there’s no denying that it will be a heavy lift to find the land, money, and support for the types of units the staff has identified as necessary. But please don’t get hung up on finding a perfect solution. There won’t be a perfect solution. But the units that can come out of a comprehensive, community-wide effort will seem perfect to the families who call them home.
Kirsten Langhorne, Ashburn