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monsoon

Should Charlotte get out of the Public Housing Business?

Should Charlotte get out of the Public Housing Business?  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Should Charlotte get out of the Public Housing Business? (except for facilities for elderly and handicapped)

    • Yes- They are breeding grounds for crime, create generations of government dependent people
      6
    • No - It is needed Social Engineering. Sure there are problems but they are being worked on
      4
    • I don't know
      0
    • I disagree with the choices in this poll
      4


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I was on Seigle Avenue last night and I taken back by how peaceful and safe the place seemed now that Piedmont Courts is closed. I don't ever remember it being like that. The days of when the police had that big machine gun battle out there with thugs is just a memory now. It would seem that closing this place was a good idea for all involved.

There is another controversy going on where there is a public housing complex on a very valuable piece of property in South Park. While this place isn't as notorious for crime as Piedmont Courts it hasn't been trouble free. And there are residents of the area that feel resentment that people are being "given" homes in the same neighborhood they worked hard to get into. On the other hand, some believe that raising children in poor homes in this environment keeps them out of the gangs.

What do you think? Should Charlotte get out of the public housing business? (except for the elderly and handicapped)

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I think there should be a third option, which is actually the new business model that Charlotte Housing Authority is pursuing: No - but all public housing should be built as mixed income communities.

I don't think that social engineering is good, but I think that it helps society to have a safety net. It should be temporary except in the case of mental or physical disability. Public housing residents, however, should be required to attend training and at least a part time job.

Both Live Oaks and Piedmont Courts are examples of this new found strategy of building socially stable mixed income communities. Not only does it mean that the housing isn't an anchor for blight and crime, as concentrated public housing projects are, but they actually become an anchor for revitalization.

Mixed income/mixed rate apartment communities end up being much more sustainable, too. As the government often underfunds maintenance, purely public housing projects become run down and slum-like. Mixed rate communities act like a typical business where more profitable units subsidize the less profitable units. The rents from market rate units pay for long term maintenance like painting, etc.

But more importantly, there is a psycho-social effect from living among different social classes in an aesthetic environment. Middle class people can feel good about helping to support the poor, (cynics can feel happy that the prices are kept low by allowing low wage employment to continue). In a proper mix, those middle class people don't have to give up anything. The lower class people are able to live in an uplifting environment, and make friends with people with more means that they otherwise would not get to meet. The children grow up in a more positive environment, and don't program themselves to be hopeless, and are much less likely to fall into the cycle of drugs, gangs, and violence.

Getting rid of failed public housing will definitely turn neigborhoods around. But rebuilding mixed rate housing, helps to solve the problems, rather than just shifting the problem around.

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I didn't vote because I don't agree with any of the choices. (Social engineering? These are people. How would you feel if your life were an experiment?) What are the alternatives to ending public housing? Where do people go? How does ending public housing end gun violence? Without seriously addressing several cultural and political issues in this country, tearing down public housing won't really change anything. The violence will move to another neighborhood. The people who lived there will move to God knows where or end up with nowhere to go. Why not give people decent housing and attack the issues that cause dysfunction in our homes and communities.

Riverwood, it's a Catch-22. If you can't afford to shop elsewhere with your dollars, you'll find yourself in the same predicament with private housing. And you'll find yourself with fewer rights to air grievances.

Dubone, I used to champion the public-private mixed income communities. After learning more about them and how they function in the real world (not just in concept), I've begun to realize they aren't entirely the answer.

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I'd like to see low income housing credits float with the free market. IE, some developers can pay into the fund to be "rid of" low income threshold requirements. This is what would likely happen in South Park.

But eventually the fund grows large enough that the credits offered by it become attractive enough for new developers to reserve some low income units.

Building concentrated public housing just creates hell-holes that corrupt thugs grow up in, and they then move elsewhere and cause more problems. I feel like a Librtarian at heart, but have to grudgingly admit that density needs management.

The wealthiest class can afford to hide in gated communities, but the middle class and working poor are the ones who suffer most from thuggery and blight. Better to accept that some degree of assistence is needed early, than to pay later in our justice system.

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