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The St Louis Contrarian

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

Archive for the category “Racism”

Garbage Research

I continue to be appalled by some of the garbage research that gets published in the name of social science and urban development. A recent one was published by The Brookings Institution titled The Devaluation of Assets in the Black Community. This is certainly a provocative title.

The research presumed to show that single family homes in the black communities are worth less than comparable houses in white communities. This is something that is hardly a surprise. These differences can be explained by lots of reasons, most prominently crime and schools. The authors made elaborate adjustments to properties and concluded there must be other reasons than the usual real estate ones for the difference in price. That difference of course was race.

If they could have shown comparable neighborhoods where everything was the same except race they could have made a point. Of course, they didn’t do any such thing.

My real problem is the concept of devaluation which assumes there is a proper value for any piece of real estate, or anything else. I could argue my house in St. Louis is devalued compared to San Francisco. These comparisons are meaningless. In St. Louis, black families moved out of historically black neighborhoods in huge numbers for reasons I stated, safety and good schools. Hardly surprising. Written by Paul Dribin

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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

Maplewood Nuisance Ordinance

Maplewood an inner suburb of St. Louis has had a nuisance ordinance which has been challenged by the ACLU. In a settlement the city agreed to change the ordinance.

The sticking point was that more than a certain number of calls to the police could get a tenant evicted. In the case of a woman suffering from domestic abuse, calling the police is usually a necessity.

I believe nuisance ordinances serve an important service. They need to be reasonable in how they are enforced.

Negative Attitudes Toward Welfare

nyti.ms/2OJj5oV

An interesting article in the New York Times that use of government programs has risen but people hate the term welfare.

The Not-So Hidden Truths About the Segregation of America’s Housing – Shelterforce

There are sometimes audible gasps in a room as Richard Rothstein talks about his book, The Color of Law, and the United States government’s work to create, encourage, and enforce racial segregation in housing in the 20th century.

Excellent interview with richard rothstein about housing segregation
— Read on shelterforce.org/2018/05/22/the-not-so-hidden-truths-about-the-segregation-of-americas-housing/

Ben Carson and Fair Housing Laws

nyti.ms/2IfjBuW

An editorial from New York Times

More About the Board of Aldermen in St. Louis

The vote by the Board of Aldermen to vote again on lowering the number of aldermen is simply a power grab by aldermen who don’t want to give up the illusion of power and could care less about the public interest. The public voted overwhelmingly to lower the number of aldermen to 14.

Racism is not the issue either. If blacks are represented by 7 or 14 aldermen it is the same level of black power as 14 out of 28. Certain individuals are just afraid of losing their jobs. Written by Paul Dribin

A Very Good Article About Housing Policy From Brookings

www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2018/05/02/nine-rules-for-better-housing-policy/

I particularly like that they talk about income subsidy as well.

Segregation in St. Louis-Dismantling the Divide

A report entitled Segregation in St. Louis-Dismantling the Divide is an outstanding document that carefully, accurately, and fairly analyzes the history of housing segregation in St. Louis. The report was prepared by a group of organizations and scholars led by the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Economic Opportunity Council. It should be required reading for everyone and hopefully will be a blueprint for action. The website for the report is forthesakeofall.org. Written by Paul Dribin

A bad racist housing program

www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/04/rent-to-own-redlining/557588/

This article itemizes a new form of land contract housing sales. It preys on African American people of limited means and marginal credit. People pay monthly but title to the property does not transfer until after a long number of years. The potential buyers build no equity and if they miss a payment they are out with no equity to show for it. These programs were used for blockbusting in Chicago when I grew up. Written by Paul Drib in

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