Thursday, September 29, 2011
"The Tragedy of Urban Renewal in New York": The Failures of Public Housing
The whole notion of Public Housing I believe is sound, the idea that government will do what it can to prevent homelessness. By having Public Housing Projects around the country so Low Income people would have a place to live. And to a certain extent its been very successful, its prevented millions of people. Who would've otherwise been homeless without Public Housing from being homeless. But it was designed so badly like most things that are designed from a one size fits all framework. Find something that you think can work for the whole country, without looking at the whole country. And the different issues and populations that each State and City has to deal with. And thinking that a National Policy will work for everyone even if the problems are different in each part of the country. And then forcing that policy on the whole country. Thats exactly what Public Housing is and this example of Urban Renewal. In Public Housing's case, building these Public Housing Projects in run down communities. That no one would live if they could afford not to, with lousy schools, high Crime Rates, and high Poverty Rates. Essentially creating new Public Ghettos that the Federal Government introduced to the country. With these Public Housing Projects, some of them the size of skyscrapers with people poor people living on top of each other. In rough communities without much hope for the future. And in this case of Urban Renewal, forcing people out of their homes in these rough neighborhoods. To build new and expensive Housing Projects for people with money to come in an revitalize the communities.
One size fits all doesn't work in Anti Poverty Policy or Education Policy and there's plenty of more. Each community really needs to look at their own issues that they deal with. Do the best job that they can to deal with them and then go to the State Government and Federal Government. When they need help, these are the issues that they face and what they are trying to do to address them. And try to get more resources from them to deal with their issues. Actually I don't believe Local Governments should be running these Public Housing Agency's either. But they would be an improvement over the Federal Government, what I would like see done in Public Housing. Is have each Local Government set up their own Public Housing System. But then turn it over to a Non Profit Community Service to run it for them. That they would regulate along with their State Government and the Federal Government. And have each community with a Public Housing System that works for their own needs. Instead of a one size fits all policy from the Federal Government like in Public Housing.
The notion of Public Housing is sound to prevent homelessness so Low Income people can have a place they can afford to live at. But it has to be designed in a way that works. That doesn't build new ghettos but you build these projects in communities where these people can have a better shot at life. And where you let each community set up their own Public Housing System that best works for them. Instead of a one size fits all policy.