On the front page of The News-Review on August 30 was an article about the Deer Creek housing project. Printed in bold letters we are told it’s the “Affordable Solution.”
Reading, we find no reference to the per-square-foot cost of the project, no mention of the annual cost for maintenance or how much of the cost, if any, is taxpayer funded. As is the case for much of what is passed off as journalism these days, it is missing is the who, why, where, when and how. Whether it’s the county buying an RV park, a $50,000 reduction in dump fees to a construction site, school bonding issues, or housing projects for the low income we rarely, if ever, get the cost to those of us footing the bill. In this case, we have a project that’s going to cost, as per the article, at least $17,000,000 for 68 units, which works out to $250,000 per unit. To me that doesn’t sound affordable at all.
So here’s the bottom line to those of you in the news business: the great unwashed out here want all the facts, not just the ones that make the story sound good. If what you are pushing is funded, even in part, with our tax dollars, we want to know. We want to know what the construction cost is per square foot and how that compares to privately built homes. We want to know why the contactors are from outside Douglas County. We want to know if the rent for these homes is Section 8 subsidized. We want to know what fees are being waived by Douglas County and City of Roseburg.
In other words we want some old-fashioned journalistic curiosity.