The St Louis Contrarian

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

Archive for the tag “affordable housing”

Opportunity Zones Don’t Work

www.nytimes.com/2021/04/21/business/biden-trump-opportunity-zones.html

This article points out an analysis that those of us in the field already knew; Opportunity Zones Don’t Work. This program initiated by the Trump Administration provided deferral of capital gains taxes for businesses investing in underserved areas. Research has shown the investments were only made for projects which would have been built anyway. The Biden Administration is trying to change it which is a good idea. Written by Paul Dribin

Infrastructure Bill

The proposal from President Biden includes substantial funding for affordable housing. These funds include funds for weatherization, energy efficiency, and public housing improvements. This is certainly a welcome development. Paul Dribin

McCormack Baron in Controversy With Housing Rehab

www.stltoday.com/business/local/hubbard-mccormack-baron-feud-threatens-prestigious-federal-grant/article_3cf676c3-369c-5e4a-b340-6ef7ad899282.html

As this article from the Post explains, the developer and the Hubbard family have parted ways. McCormack Baron has always bought off black politicians and tenant groups. This time things did not work out. I had worked for years on the prior iteration of this project to no success. There are simply too many units in too poor of a location. McCormack Baron is usually treated in the press as saints. Not true. Written by Paul Dribin

Good News for Development in St Louis

www.stltoday.com/business/local/developer-eyes-north-broadway-for-garment-factory-apartments/article_042fe001-297e-5eb6-80b3-0f5e296221f4.html

Affordable and market rate units plus commercial

The Need for Affordable Housing

www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/barbara-l-finch-where-are-people-supposed-to-live/article_c4240bc4-4832-520f-92d8-d87a97f3466b.html

Great article from Post Dispatch

St. Louis authorizes the Use of Community Development Block Grants to help Coronavirus Victims

www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/st-louis-aldermen-authorize-federal-covid-19-relief-aid-for-rental-assistance/article_36b67081-c29e-5d55-93c3-879282f67040.html

This is a good use of funds. People who lost jobs could end up homeless

Preservation Square Project

McCormack/Barron/Salazar has been attempting to demolish portions of this existing project formerly known as Ofallon Place for some time. The project which is large, about 550 units will consist of some demolition, reconstruction, and rehabilitation. For some reason, Alderman Hubbard has been trying to hold the project up. I am not always a fan of McCormack etc. but this project is desperately needed to replace an obsolete, overcrowded facility. The Alderman’s action smack of wanting a handout or bribe. What is most weird is that her family control the tenant group at the project. Written by Paul Dribin

Affordable Energy Efficent Housing Slowly Being Built in North St Louis

www.stltoday.com/news/local/columns/tony-messenger/messenger-is-there-a-future-for-affordable-housing-with-zero-carbon-footprint-in-st-louis/article_db0f1b79-2279-5c85-a05a-6bcea9fe5cad.html

Good article by Tony Messenger about a determined housing developer. Paul dribin

Ending Homelessness and Improving Health Care at Once

This seems to be too good to be true but is real. Experiments around the country and most recently in St. Louis conclude the same thing, that housing and supportive services for homeless people not only improves their housing situation but their health.

An experimental program started by Barnes Jewish Christian Hospital and St. Patricks Center has demonstrated the point. The BJC staff had found that a relatively small number of homeless people were significantly overusing their facilities and running up huge unreimbursed health care bills. BJC contracted with St Patricks Center to provide affordable supportive housing and wrap around services. The results have been fantastic. The clients significantly reduced their emergency room usage, thereby showing significant drops in health care costs. Furthermore, the formerly homeless people were housed properly and affordable, and had access to good healthcare and jobs. A true win win situation. Let’s replicate it all over the country. Written by Paul Dribin(I played a leadership role in bringing the parties together and getting the program started)

Everyday Racism in Neighborhoods and the Housing Market

Let me give you an example of systemic racism and classism that impacts most of us and for which many liberals and people of goodwill are responsible. That would be suburban zoning.

Our suburbs are generally zoned to make denser and multifamily housing more difficult to enact. Land is the biggest costs in most real estate transactions, the more units you can build on a given piece of land, the cheaper the cost of housing. Most suburban communities have zoning and land use laws that require large minimum lots sizes, set backs, sidewalks, yards, etc. This zoning which meets an antiquated aesthetic keeps housing more expensive than it needs to be which mostly negatively affects people of color and lower income households. Similarly, restrictions on manufactured and other less expensive forms of housing also hurt these groups. Communities should be willing to undertake significant changes to zoning laws to allow denser more affordable housing. Anything less is a perpetuation of racism.

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