When I think of subsidized housing, my mind conjours images of cold-war Soviet housing structures. I think of corporate interests trying to keep wages artificially low and a painful reminder that the Branson Chamber of Commerce helped lobby against minimum wage increases.
But, some of the people in Branson - nearly all local politicos - are dedicated capitalists and are unified in support for affordable housing.
Jim Strafuss, who is running for Western Taney County Commissioner describes purchasing his first home for $65,000 as acquiring more than a house - as owning a stake in the community. Strafuss sees budgeting for the IDA as a step in the right direction towards implementing affordable housing projects and is critical of sitting commissioner Ron Herschend for not funding the pseudo-government entity charged with stimulating economic growth.
Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley has brought up the issue of workforce housing during numerous work sessions and fired back answers to a few tough questions including the future of economic development initiatives.....