This week we learned that affordable housing at the Beavertail Lighthouse keeper's quarters has been put on hold, at least temporarily.
Lead paint is the culprit. The building must be made safe inside and out.
While we are resolving the lead paint issue, we should rethink the advantages of this prime chunk of island real estate.
Many people dream of living in a lighthouse. So, why use the keeper's quarters as affordable housing? Let's put the place to work generating money to pay for even more affordable housing on the island.
Lighthouses are hugely popular destinations. Several lighthouses around the country have profited as bed and breakfasts. The Rose Island light across the bay is a good example.
Now, this is thinking a bit outside the box. If we turn the keeper's quarters at the Beavertail light into a B&B, we could probably generate enough money to pay the rent for two or three affordable-type homes.
We don't have to get too creative to make such a plan work. Yes, people want to stay in a lighthouse. The Town of Jamestown can make their dreams come true. Our affordable housing program benefits.
- Jeff McDonough