Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Government creates hole, keeps digging

It is strange and galling that those who consider themselves experts in "affordable" housing always come back to the tired, tried and failed solutions to solve the problem: more subsidized housing. 

Why is this?  1. Organizations that help the poor and  2. government programs that exist to help the poor, and 3. politicians who want to be seen doing "something" about the problem, see that subsidized housing suits THEIR goals, not those of the poor, or the taxpayers.  Affordable housing is a great political cause.  The issue is emotional and the solutions seem complicated, even though they are simple, efficient and obvious - if - decicion-makers and so-called experts were not defiantly and intentionally blind to the facts.  

Section 8 Housing Vouchers are almost universally preferred to public housing by those receiving housing assistance. As housing costs increase, vouchers must keep pace. Vouchers allow recipients to live in the homes and neighborhoods they want and what they deem is best for them.  Vouchers are the least expensive housing option so limited resources can serve more people. They do not stigmatize recipients because they live in private housing units, and the private property pays taxes and competes for clients.

All publicly funded housing is more expensive than Section 8 Vouchers by varying amounts, publicly built housing projects being the worst.  It does however, keep a lot of people employed at taxpayer expense, and allows government to decide where and how people will live.  

So along comes another MAX line, and with it the development Metro and local jurisdictions want.  (Remember light rail is more for the developers than the transit riders because a flexible BRT system would do just as well.). And now authorities are squawking about gentrification which is what they wanted all along, otherwise why do all the station
communities wind up with urban renewal districts that are fundamentally meant to develop land for higher value and property taxes?  Now the powers that be are caught in a bind of leaving people behind while they encourage and fund gentrification. What private affordable housing existed will be replaced by public housing, and the people should be grateful - problem solved.  For the machine that keeps the scam going.  

Look around.  Who is benefiting folks?   If government was serious about halting (or slowing) gentrification, urban renewal would be limited to areas of true blight or banned altogether.  Government creates a problem and makes more problems trying to fix the first!

Portland Tribune, July 4, 2017. By Jim Redden
Officials aim to halt gentrification along future Southwest rail line

But poll finds affordable housing levy unlikely to pass in Washington County portion of the transit corridor

Although Washington County is more affluent than Multnomah County, it also has a severe affordable housing problem. The supply of publicly subsidized apartments is so limited, the most recent project to be completed, the second phase of the Orchards at Orenco, was full before it opened.

Despite that, county officials and affordable housing advocates recently agreed to delay asking voters to approve an affordable housing levy. A poll conducted for the county showed it had little chance of passing. 
Although few additional affordable housing projects currently are in the works in the county, one project underway seeks to prevent more people from being forced out of their homes by rising rents and housing costs. The cities of Portland and Tigard have partnered with Metro to study how to prevent gentrification along the future MAX light-rail line in the Southwest Corridor. 
The goal is to prevent the kind of dislocations caused by the earlier Interstate MAX line also occurring in the corridor between Portland and Tualatin if the proposed line eventually is funded and built. The project, funded by grants from the elected regional government, is just getting underway.
Sims also recommended involving organizations that build affordable housing earlier in the planning. Among other things, the project undertaken by Portland and Tigard will identify potential sites for building affordable housing projects.
"Housing is a determinent factor in life outcomes. It make for better employees and healthier people. Subsidized housing is the absolute key," Sims said.

Treece said the goal of last month's focus on housing is to develop a series of specific policy recommendations the WEA can endorse and pursue. Ideas under consideration include preserving land for future affordable housing projects before costs increase any further. Helping condominium developers overcome the insurance problems that have slowed construction in recent years also is being discussed.

Erik H.
Light rail is all about money. Those who have money, get a voice. Developers, contractors and suppliers get a voice.

Citizens and residents? Nobody cares, or wants, our opinion. We are to shut up and pay our taxes, and let government do as they please because they have all the answers. We have to live with the consequences.

John R.
You build the line, and you sell it to the people as bringing in business and improving the neighborhood. You sell the line as a way to save the environment. Then you get your panties in a bunch that people with $$ move to the area, businesses open up because the access to the line means passing customers. In the day this was called urban renewal, improving a blighted area, now its gentrification. If you don't want the improvements quit building light rail

No comments:

Post a Comment