Letter: Kirsten Langhorne, Ashburn

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

6 thoughts on “Letter: Kirsten Langhorne, Ashburn

  • 2021-10-08 at 4:38 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with the writer. It’s often said that Loudoun County is the wealthiest county in America. But as was stated during a recent school-board meeting, many people live in very modest circumstances. They get along from paycheck to paycheck. Dignified housing must be available to these folks as well. Particularly when the reach their golden years. I believe that with a spirit of unity, that dream will become a reality.

  • 2021-10-08 at 6:45 pm

    If you can’t afford the zip code move to another one.

    • 2021-10-10 at 11:06 am

      What zip code would you suggest? One so far away that people spend hours commuting on top of a full work day? How does lack of face time help their kids? How does extra maintenance required on their vehicles help their bottom line? How does the lack of time to make healthy meals help their health?

      The establishment keeps spouting paths to lift people up, but if even one of a thousand different things go wrong there is no guardrails to keep them from going off a cliff.

      We as a society need to start lifting up the people who provide the foundation we all build our success off of.

  • 2021-10-08 at 7:05 pm

    I don’t think too many people disagree with the need for affordable housing. It’s how that is accomplished that is the issue. Do we give away tax payer money as housing subsidies, force developers to create affordable housing but how do we manage who they sell it to, or where do we put it NIMBY. I have zero recommendations but I don’t think the spirit of unity will get the job done.

  • 2021-10-12 at 5:47 am

    As a long time, positive contributor to the Ashburn Community Kirsten should be complemented and supported. If one looks to Greenwich, Connecticut as an example for what can work in a wealthy community you don’t find one ADU on an estate but a planned section, convenient to transportation and commerce for lower income individuals. What Loudoun tends to do is force a developer to add an insignificant number of cheaper to build units among its higher priced development which is a contradiction in purpose. 🙂

  • 2021-10-15 at 10:39 pm

    Shouldn’t she identify herself as a developer, which she is, and high up in the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce??

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