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The St Louis Contrarian

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

Archive for the category “poverty”

Missouri Will be Restarting Low Income Housing Program

www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/missouri-moving-closer-to-restarting-low-income-housing-tax-credit/article_1c965460-296a-581a-91c3-4e28c28ae211.html

this is good news and an example of compromise. The housing units are very much needed. This program will lift very few people out of poverty but developers will get rich. Written by Paul Dribin

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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

Good Article About Criminal Justice Ministry

www.stltoday.com/news/local/columns/tony-messenger/messenger-merger-of-two-st-louis-prison-ministries-draws-attention/article_46b58ae6-30b8-58f0-81a6-a4304790939d.html

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

St. Louis Chosen for ‘Healthy Housing’ Initiative | Catholic Charities

St. Louis Chosen for ‘Healthy Housing’ Initiative | Catholic Charities
— Read on www.ccstl.org/st-louis-chosen-for-healthy-housing-initiative/

This is great news. I helped st Patricks get started with hospital-homelessness initiative

Housing Idea 3-Don’t Romanticize the Poor

Poor people have very serious problems, that don’t need exaggeration. I have worked my whole professional life to address the problems of poverty. The progressive left is making a serious mistake by romanticizing the poor.

David Brooks has some excellent words on this subject. He states that conservative exaggerate by saying that all the problems of poverty are caused by the individuals and progressive make the same mistake by blaming all the problems on institutions. The reality is somewhere in the middle.

In managing affordable housing I have seen numerous instances where the low income individuals make poor decisions that are within their control that make their situations worse. These include abusive relationships, not putting emphasis on a good education, and engaging in drugs and crime. Poverty is not an excuse for this behavior. Let’s not romanticize things. Written by Paul Dribin

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

This article talks around the vacancy issue

www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/st-louis-has-a-plan-for-vacancy/article_039ec2ca-751d-5451-b039-f6f60baa239d.html

what is a chief resiliency officer?

Government Shutdown Hurting Low Income Housing Programs

nyti.ms/2Hnt8QP

Article is from The New York Times

Vacancies in St. Louis

As you may know, there has been a collaborative formed to address the huge vacancy problem in St. Louis. Various task forces are meeting and I participate in two of them. Most of the people at the meetings appear to be community activists with a smattering of developers.

The discussions have generally been good but rather general in nature. We do not seem to want to address the key problems which I see as:

1. Outmoded methods of management and sales by LRA.

2. The higher cost of doing business in St. Louis.

3. Historical preservation

4. Crime

5. The overall oversupply of housing and undersupply of population in the region.

6. The unwillingness of the group to accept demolition.

Written by Paul Dribin

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