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Weinland Park Neighbors

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This topic contains 578 replies, has 88 voices, and was last updated by  goldenidea 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #314029
    SusanB
    SusanB
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    BTW, when I was dealing with the CHP tax credit lease-to-own houses in my neighborhood I was told by a person with the OCCH (the place where all the tax credit housing funding flows from in Ohio) that the tax credit houses “were almost always section 8 voucher houses”. And the f%$#^er laughed as he told me this (over the phone in private of course). The lease-to-own house program is a complete fraud IMHO (and experience so far now 4 years in).

    #314030

    rory
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    SusanB wrote >>
    BTW, when I was dealing with the CHP tax credit lease-to-own houses in my neighborhood I was told by a person with the OCCH (the place where all the tax credit housing funding flows from in Ohio) that the tax credit houses “were almost always section 8 voucher houses”. And the f%$#^er laughed as he told me this (over the phone in private of course). The lease-to-own house program is a complete fraud IMHO (and experience so far now 4 years in).

    And then throw in the fact that any house renovated under NSP2 that isn’t sold outright is open to Section 8 vouchers.

    #314031

    labi
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    goldenidea wrote I also suggest that nearly everyone living in WP (I’d venture 90%+) is receiving some kind of govenment or social service check to help pay for most of their housing and other living costs.

    No – according to 2008 data 77% of WP residents over 16 are employed, although very low income (median household income about $15,000) (although the population skews very young, so that would bring the per capita income down). 2000 data said that only 14% were receiving public assistance income. This was much higher than the citywide average (3%) but nothing like 90%.

    #314032

    goldenidea
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    NONE of the properties currently being considered are market rate or owner-occupied. The new homes being built by Waggenbrenner are tax-credit units available to those making up to 150% of area median income (~40K for a family of three, IIRC) and will not be sold for 20 years. The other units, badly designed and of questionable workmanship, would be owner occupied, but only available to low-income families, of which there are already an abundance in WP.

    I’m going to post w/o reading the last page of most recent posts…

    There’s a couple of things with this strategy that Berdawn is describing (and it may be totally accurate) that just don’t seem to make sense.

    First, Northside Development tried for a number of years to build reasonably nice infills and to sell them to low-income but qualified families. That effort was a dismal failure, because, from what I could tell, not even low-income people wanted to voluntarily invest and move into this neighborhood under existing circumstances.

    Second, after the worst lending meltdown of our lives, who’s going to finance these sub-prime deals for the buyers? (I have to assume the answer to this question is “us taxpayers”)

    Third, if Waggenbrenner doesn’t take any initiative to improve the demographics of the neighborhood, by bring in at least some competent outside, non-low-income owner-occupants, how will the neighborhood ever improve and if it doesn’t improve how will they ever sell many houses?

    From what I know of the plan (as described) and from what I’ve seen in the neighborhood over the past 8 years, this approach is not likely to do anything but waste capital and keep the neigbhborhood depressed. Hopefully, this isn’t what is going to happen, as I just don’t see it ever working.

    #314033

    rory
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    You’ve succinctly described the impasse the neighborhood has reached. There seem to be varying schools of thought. The options are to market the neighborhood as “the next big thing” and make it more inviting for non-low income owner occupants. That risks “gentrification”. Another option, and one that seems to be more popular with the powers-that-be is to add more affordable housing and use social service and philanthropic organizations to push the low-income occupants up through increased services rather than out with increased property values. If that works before the non-profit funding runs out or the novelty of the idea passes that’s great. I’m not that hopeful about the picture 15 years out with that scenario. I guess my mortgage gives me a different time-frame than a five year non-profit funding cycle and the three year NSP2 program.

    There doesn’t seem to be much thought of mixing the two ideas. There is already ample opportunity for social service agencies to peddle their wares with 20 to 25 percent Section 8 housing already and with 25 percent vacant (or whatever number we have this week) ample opportunity to increase economic diversity in the neighborhood.

    #314034

    berdawn
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    The idea of WP becoming appealing to middle income individuals is greeted with extreme hostility from everyone EXCEPT those who live there and do not rely on it for their income/livelihood.

    #314035

    goldenidea
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    <There doesn’t seem to be much thought of mixing the two ideas. There is already ample opportunity for social service agencies to peddle their wares with 20 to 25 percent Section 8 housing already and with 25 percent vacant (or whatever number we have this week) ample opportunity to increase economic diversity in the neighborhood.>

    <The idea of WP becoming appealing to middle income individuals is greeted with extreme hostility from everyone EXCEPT those who live there and do not rely on it for their income/livelihood. >

    I’ve never understood why they don’t allow or even encourage gentrification into the mix. The neighborhood really, really needs the presence of better-educated and more law-abiding and law-accepting people RIGHT NOW. I’m not optimistic that the plan to raise the capabilities or social standing of the existing residents will work by itself, in a setting where low-income residents predominate. That’s never worked in the past.

    This neighborhood sits in the midst of both the Short North and University District. Were it to gentrify, even partially, it could easily become an a much bigger asset to the city and its social and tax-base as has all of the housing to the south and much of the housing to the west of it. To pass on an opporunity to raise that social and tax-base to instead pursue a social laboratory experiment is squandering the future of a very key locale in the city. To me, that’s bad planning. There are plenty of low-income neighborhoods in other areas of the city away from the Short North and the UD where they could experiment with no consequence if they fail. Failing in WP results in a big missed opportunity, and it ignores, and even works against, that which the “free market” (i.e. the economic desires of people-at-large working in a democracy) would naturally create there. This seems pretty obvious, so Berdawn’s arguement is strong, that it’s all about the money to be made pursuing these subsidies and programs.

    #314036

    LBOWACC
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    I know a family who was born and raised in WP. None of them currently live there (they are all adults now) and none would ever be willing to return. That being said, just gentrify it. It by far has the best location, and housing stock of any location in columbus that is not currently gentrified. I would have absolutely no problem living there, and it would be one of the places in columbus i would look to move. It seems to be getting better slowly year and year. I think in 10-15 years it will be a really great place to live.

    #314037

    goldenidea
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    I agree that under normal market conditions, WP would now readily gentrify, but because of all of the subsidied housing initatives, it is not as simple and easy as it could and should be.

    The City is against the casino being located in the Arena District, close to the Short North. For the same reasons (crime being a big one), the City should be against concentrating a majority of low-income people in a neighborhood close to the valuable Short North and University District neighborhoods. But, instead, they are working against gentrification.

    #314038

    berdawn
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    Is there an update from the meeting last night?

    #314039

    goldenidea
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    Anybody hear anything new w/r to what’s going on in WP??? Just trying to keep up with it all… Thanks!

    #314040

    berdawn
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    The civic assn seems to be getting revitalized. there are a number of homeowners attending the monthly meetings and the committee meetings. The most exciting development is that while anyone can attend and participate, one must be a resident in order to vote. PM me if you’d like to come to one…I’m just sorting out who meets when, but depending on your interest, there’s certainly a group for you.

    #314041

    Columbusite
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    It seems like the best thing to do is to keep having those meetings and reaching out to get as many involved residents as possible along with those in surrounding neighborhoods. I don’t live in WP, but I’m just a block away. Decentralizing subsidized low-income is a must and WP currently demonstrates what we and city planners have long known and that is you don’t concentrate this kind of housing in one area, rather you spread around tiny numbers throughout several areas. Planning a large gathering at city council to lay out obstacles and solutions for what the city needs to do for revitalization might be a good idea too.

    #314042

    berdawn
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    Columbusite wrote >>
    It seems like the best thing to do is to keep having those meetings and reaching out to get as many involved residents as possible along with those in surrounding neighborhoods. I don’t live in WP, but I’m just a block away. Decentralizing subsidized low-income is a must and WP currently demonstrates what we and city planners have long known and that is you don’t concentrate this kind of housing in one area, rather you spread around tiny numbers throughout several areas. Planning a large gathering at city council to lay out obstacles and solutions for what the city needs to do for revitalization might be a good idea too.

    The city doesn’t seem especially supportive of that sort of strategy and any suggestion of deconcentration is met with much gnashing of teeth. Right now, things are going pretty well and I would hate to make the situation more uncomfortable while there is support for the efforts that ARE working.

    #314043

    rory
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    Because there is so much going on in the neighborhood and I have so little to do lately I’ve started a blog about the WP experience, which is usually between Mayberry and mayhem most of the time.

    http://weinlandpark.wordpress.com

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