Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Public housing a waste

But didn't we already know that?  
Remove private property from the property tax rolls.  Pay many times more per housing unit than necessary.  Concentrate poverty (even with mixed income housing).  With mixed income housing, expensive, government-subsidized housing units go to renters who do not need any benefits - a real crime.  Disrupt organic development of area.   Why do we do this?

Who benefits from public housing? 
~ Redevelopment agency staff ~ Housing agency staff ~ Building contractors and unions ~ Non-profit management services ~ Real estate professionals ~ Bond traders and other financial services ~ Consultants, architects, engineers, lawyers, accountants, other professional services ~ Developers who receive direct and indirect subsidies ~ Low-income NGO personnel that replicate services available locallyN~ Renters who are likely to stay in the units for decades, eschewing income opportunities that might disqualify them for aid

Who pays for it?  
The U.S. taxpayer ~ Local and state taxpayers ~ NGO contributors

Who gets kicked in the teeth?
The people who struggle to make ends meet, pay market rate for housing, and pay taxes to house others who live in housing better than they can afford.

Section-8 Alternative
Lower cost per family for rental unit -~ Ability to house more families due to lower per-unit costs ~ Low income population is dispersed and integrated with market-rate units ~ Choice of where renter wants to live, not restricted to government housing units ~ More popular with low-income clients ~ Safe surroundings; tenants screened for behavior and crime backgrounds ~ Low administration and costs since housing ownership and management is private ~ Property produces taxes for local governments ~ No maintenance for housing units, all taken care of by private owner ~ All personnel who work on the property are employed privately and not on public pension and benefit plans ~ No construction, neighborhood disruption, inflated or deflated land prices, consultants, political finagling, etc. ~ Taxpayer gets more bang for buck, pays for housing at minimum cost

Whenever you hear about public housing (government-supported low-income housing units), remember, it isn't a housing program, it's 1) am employment program, and 2) a social-engineering program.  Except for special needs populations, it should be against the law.  

Philadelphia to seize 1,330 Properties for Redevelopment
Forbes, June 26, 2015  By Scott Beyer
Another problem is that the plan, rather than adding to city coffers, as private developments do, will be a net loss to heavily-indebted Philadelphia (not to mention U.S. Taxpayers).  ... Phase I will include the construction of 57 affordable rental units for $21 million, or $368,000 per unit - an astounding cost for low-income housing.  In total, the plan will have 10 phases that include housing, retail, and a new Philadelphia Housing Agency headquarters.  This will cost $500 million and because much of the land is publically owned, will generate little property tax revenue.

...the worst thing about the plan is that it's being overseen by the very agency that blighted the area.  For decades, the Philadelphia Housing Authority, like so many other top-down urban development bureaucracies, has been notorious for waste, corruption, mismanagement, and for delivering poorly-run, substandard complexes that degrade their surrounds.

The "Afters" all look pretty much the same - spiffed up buildings, street trees, new paving and striping - this one lacks sidewalk cafes, but maybe they are in the after-the-after images.  Besides the fact that the (private?) buildings need money to fix up, can't the city put in the street trees and do some basic improvements  now?  Oh well.


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