Mayor Wilder announced plans to provide more affordable housing and to deconcentrate poverty and public housing in the city. Deconcetrate poverty means tearing down the projects, right? [via] [via]
I hope that your concern for deconcentrating poverty is not a crass concern for your own property values. There is a lot at stake in improving the lives of those who cannot afford decent housing. Our first concern should be with taking care of the most vulnerable among us.
I’m keen on both sides, really. I would love to see my property value go up if that increase is reflective of a safe and clean neighborhood.
What I really want is a neighborhood that works. I would like to be able to walk the streets around my house at night without undue fear. I want a grocery store, not a corner market. I want truly successful neighborhood schools that are racially and economically integrated. I want the 8 abandoned properties within a block of my house to be owner-occupied or well-maintained affordable rental property. Is this too much to ask?
Rental property is not the answer for “new” neighborhoods. If you are not a stakeholder in the community, then you are less likely to buy into the grand scheme. Working with public and private businesses to assist the working class to buy houses is a much better idea. Additionally, if you decentralize the poverty, the citizens that are law abiding can better keep an eye on the criminal element that will also decentralize.
My sentiments exactly. Church Hill seems awash in rentals, with landlords not living in the community. Rent signs seem as common as pink flamingos. Let’s take some of these abandoned houses and turn them into afordable housing for SALE. Baltimore had a program such as this and was able to “decentralize” a great deal!! God knows we have enough abandoned properties!!
Wilder: Plan for public housing
How would you define “affordable” housing? 150k? (75% of the median home price in the city is around 165k)? is this affordable for people living in public housing? These poor folks do not even pay any thing close to market rents (the average rent in these developments is $185 a month!), let alone a payment that would reflect mortgage, taxes, insurance and the cost of upkeep. Rental housing will always play a large role in affordable housing plans. The key is to have good management, which does not allow for the culture of incivility and self defeating lifestyle choices that we see besetting many areas of public housing today.
Moroever, do not knock city residents’ desire to see their real estate values go up. Who do you think pays for all these community centers, schools, police, fire etc? You guessed it. Homes owners and their real estate taxes. So, please do not play that zero sum class game. We all want a better community. Getting rid of the current public housing develoments is about as easy as civic decision as there is out there. Doing so has proven a positive development for residents of these type communities around the country; perhaps even more so, for their surrounding communities.
I concur, the whole theory behind home ownership as a salubrious remedy for individuals and communities is based on self interest as a form of community interest. If they do nothing else civicly, homeowners at least (in general) show an interest in maximizing their investment by keeping up their property and trying to minimize personal incivil behaviors that could be read by the market as less than attractive. Sure, other theories related to community would place this ethic outside of the realm of capitalism, but then, why do renters as a group in the US show less inclination for community?
We need rental property with decent landlords. While absentee landlords and ambivalent propert management companies (Atlantic Beacon!) are not good neighbors, medical students, young couples, recent graduates, dudes with jobs, older folks, etc., can certainly add something positive to the texture of a street.
Michael Paul Williams’ Let’s ‘walk the walk’ on housing
Sorry I’m a little late to chime in…I’m a renter. I’m not ready to buy but I love this neighborhood and what it can be. John is ABSOLUTELY right about having good landlords and property management. I’ll have to say that I’m extremely dissappointed in my unnamed local rental company. I’ve used my own time, money and effort to make the place look better…replacing the weeds and cigarette butts in the flower box with plants, etc. I’ve been asking for repairs since October 1st 2005! What can we do?
Heather, I think I could help you with some answers. Email me and let’s work on these problems.
The Richmond Voice weighs in with ‘Goodbye impoverished neighborhoods?’
I’d rather have empty lots on my block than the crap that the Housing Authority builds!
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