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jice

Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood

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An article last week in the Tennessean talks about this area receiving a $400,000 grant to help redevelop the neighborhood. $100,000 has already been spent for new signage.

What should be done with the remaining money?

One idea is this..

A suggestion for how the remaining $300,000 in grant money could be used involved promoting the area as an "arts district" by building affordable housing for artists and others in the neighborhood.

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All of these proposals are a waste of money, as are the community development block grants in general. Imagine if the $400,000 were instead distributed to the people in the neighborhood. It's a small neighborhood, so I bet there aren't more than 400 houses. That would be $1000/household. My guess is the residents would much rather have the $1000 than any of the proposed neighborhood improvements. This preference for the money is evidence that the proposals are not providing many benefits relative to there costs. (Which isn't surprising since they're spending $100,000 just for signs!)

If we got rid of the nearby government housing, it would do much more to improve this neighborhood. Instead, government is spending $400,000 more to put a band aid on a problem that is primarily caused by government. We should instead be like doctors: first, do no harm. Instead, we are performing repeated unnecessary surgery, mainly because we like planning the surgeries. The worst example for this is the proposal for more affordable housing (which really means housing owned or financed by government). This neighborhood is already between two giant government housing projects. Enough already.

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