Milford has enough apartment complexes

To the Editor:

I was pleased to read our selectmen’s Chairman Mark Fougere’s concerns over yet another apartment complex proposed for the east side of Milford on Nashua Street. Mr. Fougere’s trepidation is quite valid. Of the 126 units, comprised of four buildings, 90 of them are designated affordable housing, the other 36 listed as “upscale.”

In 2008, the NH Legislature enacted a Workforce Housing law whereas it recognized there existed insufficient affordable housing for workers and their families throughout the state, and that all communities needed to provide “realistic and reasonable” opportunities for such housing.

In a perfect world, all communities would acknowledge this and willingly abide, however, because this law has no teeth, and many people don’t exactly embrace this line of reason, this didn’t happen. Many communities quickly passed zoning laws restricting low-income housing. It was NIMBY (not in my back yard) come home to roost. Slowly and begrudgingly, in many cases, more towns are now starting to come around.

Milford never needed this law, as it has always been a community with ample affordable housing. For a number of reasons, Milford has been a magnet for apartment buildings and trailer parks. In fact, of the 13 communities in the NRPC (Nashua Regional Planning Commission), Milford ranks at the top for mobile homes.

Data from the 2010 Milford Master Plan report has this town far surpassing the intent of the Workforce Housing mandate. Out of all the housing within town limits, multifamily units accounted for 42.4 percent. Mobile homes at 6.7 percent and single family homes at 50.9 percent. However, 19 percent of total (6,062) housing units were single family “affordable,” bringing standard-priced homes to 41 percent.

I think it can be safely stated that Milford has gone above and beyond with its supply of low-income affordable workplace housing.

We don’t need another apartment complex in town. Shoe-horning in another on Nashua Street would bring us that much closer to the likes of Nashua and Manchester.

According to a former Milford police detective I spoke with not too long ago, the three existing complexes on that side of town are bastions of drug-dealing, drug use, and a host of other illicit activities.

I certainly do not condemn all residents of these properties, as I am sure there are plenty of decent, hard-working citizens residing there. It’s just a fact that criminals flock to these types of housing, as it is much harder to keep track of several hundred people coming and going as opposed to a single-family home.

A final detraction is the amount of police and fire calls to these places in a given year. I have personally witnessed from my building in East Milford police and fire vehicles constantly responding to nuisance calls, false alarms, any number of problems disproportionate to other residences in town.

Lets stop this before it begins.

ROBERT PHILBRICK

Milford