The economic experts will tell you that a recession isn’t over until new housing starts reach a certain level. If that’s true, we’re not in good shape in this area where new housing starts still are lagging.

The city of Washington’s building department reported that no permits for new homes were issued in August. There were four permits issued for residential improvements, with a total estimated cost of $778,260.

It is encouraging that site work has started at Malvern Hill, a new residential subdivision on a 6.72-acre site off Rabbit Trail Drive in the east part of the city. Duplexes and single-family homes will be built.

Remember the days when there were three or four subdivisions being built at the same time in Washington?

The need for “starter homes” for young couples in Washington still exists. The city council has softened regulations to permit more homes in developments.

The residential development on Front Street appears to be meeting with success, judging by the number of “sold” signs. It is a great addition and a boost to the historic core of the city.

We need more land in the city limits that can be developed for homes. And, we know, the homes must be affordable.

We await the upswing of residential developments not only in Washington but in Franklin County.