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The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the category “hud”

Post Editorial about Potential Demolition of Public Housing Units in Wollstonecraft

www.stltoday.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-housing-authority-choice-pits-social-justice-against-demolition-expediency/article_d9e8d89e-f5a0-5899-85c5-d6ddcc8aa258.html

I don’t see any sense in rebuilding these horrible units. There needs to be sufficient funding to build new

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Criminal Background Checks for Housing

I am noting a disturbing trend among liberal well meaning people regarding criminal background checks in housing. Landlords including the federal government have for years screened for previous criminal activity on the part of a potential tenant. These screenings have been mandated by HUD and have been held up in court as a reliable indicator of potential problems.

Now various government entities are passing laws making such checks illegal. This is misguided and will result in more damage to properties, more evictions, and higher rents for good tenants. I agree that criminal activity of a non violent nature committed years before should be excepted. I also believe that an ex offender who is participating in programs offered by organizations such as the Criminal Justice Ministry should also be approved. Written by Paul Dribin

Plans move ahead to terminate Wellston Housing Authority and Demolish Propertulues

www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/housing-the-poor-in-poor-housing-for-so-long-leaves/article_e65a764f-cae7-5285-b218-dacf75a30c25.html

This is a very tough issue. The Wellston Housing Authority was corrupt and ran these properties into the ground. The tenants are very poor and have little housing choice. Hud has not provided adequate resources. Written by Paul Dribin

Affordable housing development in St. Louis getting off the ground

www.stltoday.com/business/local/over-two-years-after-big-hud-grant-preservation-square-project/article_ea43dfa3-f795-5188-b45d-88d466373a7c.html

Good post editorial about opportunity zones

www.stltoday.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-opportunity-promise-or-empowerment-if-you-have-the-money/article_76172eeb-4417-53e8-86dc-1bb8827a7c51.html

there is actually much controversy about this program which gives huge tax breaks to businesses which were likely to invest in these areas anyway.

Ideas About Housing -Too Much Democracy is Bad

Urban Planners talk about the need for community involvement in neighborhood development. That is good. Similarly, public housing residents need to have their ideas included in planning for the future of their developments. Yet, in St. Louis I sometimes think democracy has gone overboard. It seems that everyone no matter how wacky their idea has an equal say in the future of our communities. I certainly see that problem in the failure of the McKee effort to redevelop north St. Louis. People get worn out and nickel and dimed.

My first job with HUD was to insure and improve tenant participation in public housing. In all, participation tended to be low. Poor people participate less in public life less than wealthier people, that is partially why they are poor. More important, they simply lack the time for civic involvement.

A concrete example. The Darst-Webbe Hope VI redevelop[ment required tenant involvement. The remaining few tenants in the failed original project refused to be supportive of a complete demolition and redevelopment. Why? They were selling drugs and didn’t want that activity disrupted. It has always puzzled me why tenants of public housing appear to have more say in the running of their project than other properties. All political theorists have agreed that direct democracy is a poor form of government. They are right. Written by Paul Dribin

Government Shutdown Hurting Low Income Housing Programs

nyti.ms/2Hnt8QP

Article is from The New York Times

Affordable Housing in Seattle and Microsoft

It is a good news bad news situation that Microsoft has started to invest significantly in affordable housing in the Seattle area. The good news is that a responsible corporation is stepping up to the plate to address a huge problem in their community. (This of course, is a problem they largely created). The bad news is that this funding only represents the tip of the iceberg and is an attempt to alleviate the federal government of its’ responsibilities. When markets don’t work the feds need to step up. In fact, housing investments by the federal government are fewer than in the 1970s.

Written by Paul Dribin

Government Shutdown and Affordable Housing

I sat in on a conference call today organized by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. The subject was the status of the government shutdown and its’ effect on low income programs funded by HUD.

There are 1150 Section 8 project based buildings that have not had their contracts renewed in December and January. This means they could not receive Section 8 payments from HUD. Most have enough reserves to get by but HUD has not come up with a fix for those who do not. The consensus was that HUD had enough funding from previous fiscal years to fund Section 8 and public housing, but after that resources run dry. Similarly if projects are pulling from reserves, a major physical crisis may go unanswered. This is a major problem and unfortunately, HUD is just one agency trying to struggle through. Written by Paul Dribin

St. Louis Housing Summit

Today, 9/21, I attended a housing summit here in St. Louis at Christ Church Cathedral downtown. The idea of the summit was to start to build a coalition to develop more affordable housing in St. Louis and end homelessness. There were approximately 300 people in attendance including some homeless people. The speakers were good, enthusiasm high. Let’s hope for the best. Written by Paul Dribin

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