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Rental properties should benefit cities

We are pleased to hear some new, high-quality, low-cost rental units are on their way to Buckhannon and may be coming to Philippi.

Opportunity Builders, a non-profit developer from Salinas, Calif., has already begun work on Cambridge Heights, a 50-unit complex at the intersection of U.S. Route 33 and State Route 20 in Buckhannon. A similar complex, Maple Terrace, is in the planning stages for downtown Philippi.

If the complexes hold true to Opportunity plans, they would be true assets to each community. Plans call for two-story apartments, a community building that includes a computer center for residents and their children, and an on-site manager.

In a key factor not seen in government-subsidized, low-income units, rent will remain the same as income increases to foster rentee savings for home ownership. Opportunity makes this possible by selling tax credits it receives for the developments to for-profit businesses.

These units will no doubt offer a competitive choice to low-income renters.

An Upshur County landlords' association originally opposed the choice offered by the Buckhannon development. But we are additionally pleased that Buckhannon political leaders followed the law and approved the project.

Housing competition is good. It leads to improved quality and cost across the board. Better, more-affordable housing is an asset to any community.

We are pleased Opportunity Builders seems to have found a creative way to help area families pursue the American dream.

Today's editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which is comprised of James G. Logue, Kevin S. Courtney, Patrick M. Martin, Matt Harvey, Nora Edinger and J. Cecil Jarvis.

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