Boom time: Demolition for public housing?

news-publichousing-demolitionWill Charlottesville's Hardy Drive go the way of St. Louis' Pruitt-Igoe, the 33 buildings on 57 acres that St. Louis used to ghettoize its poor in the 1950s.
Photo: U.S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development

Charlottesville wants to redevelop its public housing projects. That means that everything from adding new foliage around the front doors to pulling a "Pruitt-Igoe," i.e. demolishing all the stuff, is on the table.

As usual for Charlottesville facelifts, Philadelphia-based Wallace Roberts Todd, or WRT, is running the show, and the first community meeting is Monday, June 29 at 6:30pm.

Other meetings will follow Tuesday, and interested citizens can follow the situation on a special redevelopment website.

Why is demolition an option? Because, according to the minutes of a May 11 consultants' meeting, maintaining the existing building inventory "will not be viable" for Housing Authority over the long-term.

In addition to finding that even wait-listed would-be residents won't move into the Westhaven complex on Hardy Drive, the apartments owned by the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority are "not comparable to what is available in the private marketplace, and that gap will continue to widen if the Housing Authority does not pursue rehab and/or redevelopment strategies."

20 comments

Thank you, Galbraith Rules, for pointing out one of the ways that the supposedly "all by my own bootstraps" crowd in fact relies on government policies and programs and, in fact, would have a hard time getting by without those policies/programs. I'm a middle-class homeowner; I take the mortage interest deduction; if I did not have that deduction (which is a government policy), I would have a much harder time, tax-wise. Arguably, I'm just as "subsidized" as someone living in public housing. I certainly don't see how I'm so much better than someone living in public housing, unlike the first poster.

"subsidized housing should suck. That is societies way of telling people to better themselves."

Tearing down people's homes. Building projects for them to rent. Taking away what they've built up during a lifetime. Erasing you from history. Society has a strange way of saying "better yourself." Subsidized housing sucks because of the crimes involved. Public housing for public use, also known as pivate residential use. Taking money at the point of a gun from person A to give to person B who provides no product or service for the tax money. How could there possibly be any bad karma floating around subsidized housing?

So if the government does not tax you on the interest you pay to somone else who pays taxes on that interest then you are "subsidized" ?

My point remains the same... if other taxpayers are paying your freight then they should not have to provide you with more than the working poor gets who actually worked to better themselves.

You libs can hate me but there is ZERO excuse for generations of the same family being in the welfare system. ANYBODY can improve themselves over time. There are too many options out there for anyone to milk the system for decades.

The subsidized housing should be for temporary emergencies like domestic violence or medical conditions. Able bodied people should have to do volunteer work for their rent or go to training classes and pull a decent grade. Piss tests should also be required.

WRT has a fancy web-site guess you'd expect that from a high class design firm. Couldn't find any Charlottesville projects on their list wondering what they've done here ?

This looks like an expensive undertaking anyone know how it will be paid for ?

http://www.wrtdesign.com/index.php

Oh, and city resident, they have several trips spending two nights out of town. Are they eating at the Ivy Inn? I certainly hope they don't have to wait until they get back to Cville to get a meal? Maybe if you became self-supporting you wouldn't be applauding everytime somebody gets something for nothing - a free meal. It is my understanding that they plan at least 4 out of town trips this summer. Are you or can you afford it? http://cvillehousing.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/Appendix-D-Meeting-M...

Of course, home income tax deductions are a subsidy - just like any other tax deduction. The hair you split between the government giving money and the government not getting money is inconsequential. Two people in identical circumstances. One is a renter who invests in widgets. The other invests in a home. The homeowner pays less taxes. That's a subsidy.

You could argue that the goals of promoting ownership are worth the foregone revenue ... but that's a different story. I suspect the real problem is that any acknowledgment of government help takes the fun out of sanctimoniously chiding those who more obviously in need of help.

Are they eating at the Ivy Inn? Sounds like it's time for a little investigation of this Cville Eye "Who’s money are they using to take all of the residents and staff on these free trips to look at other redeveloped sites? "

city resident, I've re-read your comment now three times and I think I misinterpreted your comment. Were you making a reference to the RWSA night out?

Darn right I was

Now that Garrett Square is called Friendship Court, all shootings are to be referred to as "friendly fire."

Anyone who takes a mortgage interest deduction lives in subsidized housing. Perhaps some of us should start self betterment with a brief course in economics.

subsidized housing should suck. That is societies way of telling people to better themselves.

Unbelievable pictures of the demolition of Pruitt-Igoe. Doubt if this would have happened in Europe--famous architect designs building, torn down after 20 years --America the land of endless wasted resources. That said, I'm not sure that Westhaven should be saved, think we need a re-design by a famous architect.

Even though Pruitt-Igoe was design by a famous architect it was not a livable complex of buildings by any estimation. The waste of resources occurred when the government decided to hire Yamasaki in the first place, not when they were mercifully torn down. This is exactly why Cville does not want a famous architect to impose their vision of art onto unsuspecting residents. I trust that WRT has learned from some of these lessons, and the community process will be robust and effectual.

Rigth now, CRHA has no money to redevelop anything, and it doesn't qualify to get anything from HUD to redevelop. Why? Because CRHA has not performed to HUD's standards since Dave Norris and his merry band chased that lady executive director away from here about 6 years ago.
Who's money are they using to take all of the residents and staff on these free trips to look at other redeveloped sites? About $310k of local tax money.
The federal government is not subsidizing homeowners with a tax deduction because it's not the government's money to give to anybody. The government never got the money in the first place. That's just like saying that the County is subsidzing it homeowners by having a real estate tax rate of $.71/$100 instead of the $.95/$100 that the city charges.
Now, those people who are paying no taxes receiving earned income credit, medicaid, food stamps, housing, etc., that's another story. They didn't pay in nearly as much in as they get out. I don't subscribe to that middle class/income gult foolishness. As for job training and classes, how many years are the recipients supposed to dodge the world of work using that excuse to keep from taking care of themselves? Of course, those middle income people who make their living by "providing services" for the poor will totally disagree with me.

Of course I won't lose any sleep because of it.

Time to " Do the Right Thing" 20th anniversary of Spike Lee's movie.

obbammysmammy, where do you get the idea that anyone "hates" you? The other posters are merely pointing out that the mortgage interest deduction is a government subsidy to homeowners. If you take the deduction and "hate" government subsidies, perhaps you need to look in the mirror when it comes time to figure out how you can make the world a better place.

In need of help? Didn't they get 13 years of free public education? How many decades do you think will they "need help." Haven't you heeard of "Hand up rather than hand out?" I know so many people that love to have government to give out hand-outs because they like feel superior to those who are receiving it. Chide? How about your demeaning comment? "Society does tnot think that you are worth much so we will take care you pitiful people." Talk about sanctimonious. Gads. Make me want to puke.