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Let Columbia's poor eat overpriced organic?

Recently, The Sun published on-line a bizarre story about professional low-income affordable housing advocates lobbying Howard County to include affordable low-income housing in the future high-end pricey Columbia downtown residential development area ("Group hopes to provide affordable housing in downtown Columbia," Sept. 24).

Million-dollar luxury condos and expensive apartments and town houses already exist in this desirable area. Your story offered no clue about how these future low-income residents would be able to afford to do their weekly basic survival food and household items shopping using food stamps in the high-end Whole Foods supermarket destined for this newly redeveloped Columbia Downtown luxury living community (with no affordable ordinary supermarkets or other basic family services in the nearby Columbia Villages of Wilde Lake and New Town).

Living in walking distance of the high-end "Mall in Columbia" also offers few affordable basic human goods and services for low-income families. Has anyone bothered to ask potential low-income residents how comfortable they would feel living in such a basically unaffordable economic environment? This "gift" of affordable housing, bizarrely sited in a high cost-of-living area, resembles the legendary gift of a valuable white elephant the vindictive King of Siam once bestowed on his poor subjects who displeased him, until the hungry elephant devoured all of the wretched subjects' food and money. This plan seems worthy of immediate rethinking.

Steve Carter, Columbia

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