PUTNEY — As a tenant of Putney Landing, a Windham & Windsor Housing Trust property, I have felt degraded by the negative and false rhetoric being printed in the local newspapers and on social media by other Putney residents. Because of that, I would like to share my story as a resident of this sweet, diverse community.
I have proudly lived at Putney Landing since 2018. I am a widow, age 68, who was born and raised in Brattleboro. I lived many years in East Dummerston.
Because of Putney Landing, after my husband died, I was able to move back to the community I was raised in and help my son and daughter-in-law raise my grandkids. There has been no greater gift to me after such an incredible loss in my life. If not for WWHT affordable housing, I would not have been able to afford to live here and have inner peace.
My mother, who will be age 87 this year, was also born and raised in Brattleboro. She lives right below me independently in her own apartment. It is such a relief to be close to her and in a community where I know if something goes wrong while I am away, all of our neighbors are looking out for one another.
That is what it is to live at the Landing. We look out for one another and all of our neighbors.
Our neighbors at Putney Landing include three more retired senior citizens in three of the units - one will proudly inform you that he is a lifelong Vermonter. Other multigenerational families live alongside of each other in individual units, enabling single parents to raise their children with the support of their family members. Grandparents are able to be involved with their grandchildren daily.
We should all be so fortunate.
WWHT's supportive and dedicated staff is available to respond to any issue we as residents feel needs to be addressed. We recently gathered to begin planning for our first community vegetable garden, a joyous occasion that included WWHT staff, residents, their children, and guests. We celebrate birthdays and family milestones together as neighbors. We also have community barbecues in the summer.
I plead with those of you Putney residents who are degrading us in your arguments against more affordable housing: Take time to get to know us.
We are your neighbors.
We are families.
We are the people who work in government offices.
We are the retired grandparents.
We are gardeners and volunteers in our community.
We are Vermonters. We are Putney. And we, just like you, deserve to live here.