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Re: Economic Diversity
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sinik wrote:
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loucheNJ wrote:

I believe this was a major housing policy in Britain when Baroness Thatcher was PM. Anyone know how well it worked.


Baroness Thatcher was never PM (the 'cash for honours' scandal never got to be so bad that incumbents were giving titles out to themselves ).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/da ... ewsid_4017000/4017019.stm


I think louche may be referring to Her Grace, Margaret, the Dutchess of Thatcher... or perhaps the OTHER Princess Margaret, the one with the REAL power.

New York City has proven the Rent Control works. It has also been the rule of law in Jersey City for more than the last 30 years but unscrupulous landlords aided by corrupt city officials tend to look the other way when rent are raised sjy high during vacancies...in JC, this is strictly illegal. Rents can be raised each year only 4% or the CPI, whichever is less.
The waterfront development has been "exempted" from rent control.

Posted on: 2007/8/31 12:41
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Re: Economic Diversity
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loucheNJ wrote:

I believe this was a major housing policy in Britain when Baroness Thatcher was PM. Anyone know how well it worked.


Baroness Thatcher was never PM (the 'cash for honours' scandal never got to be so bad that incumbents were giving titles out to themselves ). I think you are referring to the 'right to buy' of council houses whereby people living in certain types of rented properties owned by the local council were allowed to purchase the property they were renting. They got a real bargain so it was popular with people who were able to take advantage of this but it took a lot of rental properties out of the market for good. Tenants were able to purchase at 33% discount off the market value. I dont know that they were able to offset their rent money against the purchase, though. It was abused by many people reselling shortly afterwards and realizing a profit. After 1997 the Labour government suspended the scheme in some areas.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/da ... ewsid_4017000/4017019.stm

Posted on: 2007/8/31 5:21
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Re: Economic Diversity
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There is a wonderful not-for-profit group called ACORN that helps low and moderate income people achieve home ownership. I know of several people here in Jersey City that have gone through their home ownership program and are now proud homeowners of two-family homes. They have an office on Newark Avenue across form the court house. I am not sure of their contact info but if they were googled the information would be right there as they are a national organization that has been around for years. I believe they also help first time homebuyers regardless of income level

I do believe that when you are a home owner that you feel more invested in your home and neighborhood especially when they live in the community and are not absentee landlords.

Regarding the dept of recreation, they are linked through the City of Jersey City website. Bob Hurley is I believe still the director. Anyone who knows anything about basketball or the history of sports/St Anthony's will know who he is. He has dedicated his career to helping our young folk and is a true role model.

Posted on: 2007/8/30 17:50
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Re: Economic Diversity
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Or maybe diversity is actually overrated:

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/idea ... e_of_diversity/?page=full

"greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects."

Posted on: 2007/8/30 17:36
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Re: Economic Diversity
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Dwntownguy wrote:
A few years back HUD had a program that gave the renters of Low Income Housing the opportunity to use their rent money to buy their Rental Property. This program accomplished two objectives:

Sense of Ownership

Seed money for future Economic Independence.

We need to return to that program.


DTG


I believe this was a major housing policy in Britain when Baroness Thatcher was PM. Anyone know how well it worked.

Posted on: 2007/8/30 17:30
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Re: Economic Diversity
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A few years back HUD had a program that gave the renters of Low Income Housing the opportunity to use their rent money to buy their Rental Property. This program accomplished two objectives:

Sense of Ownership

Seed money for future Economic Independence.

We need to return to that program.


DTG

Posted on: 2007/8/30 16:51
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Re: Economic Diversity
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I agree that you can't help those who don't want it.

I don't have children and haven't lived here as long as some. Do you know if there's any info online about the Boys Club and rec department programs.

It seems that taking a more active role in keeping kids ages 12+ from getting involved with street/gang activities would be a tremendous opportunity for the community.

I wish that more people would get involved in this thread so that we could brainstorm productive ways of possibly implementing some changes rather than just complaining.

Plus, I'd love to hear some things that people are doing personally or through corporate programs in the area.

Posted on: 2007/8/30 16:40
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Re: Economic Diversity
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There actually is a lot of sports programs available here for kids. The department of recreation and the Boys Club have fantastic programs for kids.

Many kids stay involved with sports until they are twelve or so and then for a lot of them the lure of the streets is pretty strong and they stop the sports. I see this even with kids from so called "good families".

I also agree that yes housing projects (in particular the high rise ones) contain a more than disportionate percentage of criminal activity. I am definitely in favor of getting people out of the high rises and into either economically- mixed communities or into town homes. Say for example Curries Woods. It seems to be better there since the high rises came down and the smaller houses went up. I have heard that they are inspected by the housing department regulalry to verify that the household is in compliance with the rule

That being said there are always going to be those who are "low-income" because of drug addiction and bad choices.

Posted on: 2007/8/30 16:34
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Re: Economic Diversity
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i've always lived in rent stabilized buildings, some that accept section 8. it is obviously true most people in any low income housing are just trying to live their lives. i suppose the 'few bad apples' thing can come into play here. stigmatizes a whole bunch. but the fact is that there is crime where there are housing projects, etc. i agree that mentoring can help. its just a whole lot of factors involved with this stuff.


there isnt much tension in park slope anymore because it is so widely gentrified and there is not as large an income gap (in the 'prime' area)... anyone who owns there is doing okay, most renters as well. and most people who couldn't stay were already pushed out. ft. greene i'm not in so much so i don't really know.

but i also think that the idea that most people are just trying to make it day to day needs to be understood by everyone. i.e. not everyone who is white is rich, etc. or there to push you out, etc.

just like everyone who lives in government housing isn't a drug dealer.

Posted on: 2007/8/30 16:15
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Re: Economic Diversity
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kaza wrote:
One thing that does work though is mentoring. There are so many kids out there in need of a Big Brother/Big Sister to mentor them and expose them to things like art, higher education, etc. For some kids navigating the system for things like financial aid for college is so difficult when there are no adults in their lives who have gone to college or speak Englis proficiently.


I totally agree with you. I think that since Jersey City has such a strong arts community that it may be a good resource to bridge the gap between the communities.

Another outlet would be through sports programs. Someone posted on the board recently about the soccer lessons. Making arrangements to offer free lessons to families in need once a week would be a good idea. I'm sure that there must be people on this board that would be able to volunteer their time for a shared passion.

I think one of the major issues in the city right now is that there's a tremendous cultural divide. Something needs to be done to bridge the gap. I spend a lot of time in Ft. Greene and Park Slope and I don't sense the tension as much as I do here.

Posted on: 2007/8/30 16:06
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Re: Economic Diversity
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There really does seem to be confusion about rent control and public housing etc. Rent control/rent stabilization is not subject to income limitations etc. It has nothing to do with your income and only has to do with the unit being in a building over a certain amount of units. Now if you have been living in a rent-controlled unit for 25 years I would suppose that your rent is very low but many people are paying close to market level rents in rent control buildings. It all depends on when you moved in.

Section 8 is subject to income limitations and is for lower-income people.

I don't mind living in a mixed-income neighborhood. I like the fact that I can choose to have great Dominican food for say $6.00 or go to Marco&Pepes for more expensive fare.

Most low-income people are not involved in criminal activity. Most are just trying to make it through the day, working hard and providing for their families.

In a utopian world the children of higher income families would develop empathy for those less fortunate in their neighborhood and the lower-income kids would be exposed to professions and lifestyles that they would not normally aspire to and could strive through education for. Unfortunatley that is for the most part not the reality

One thing that does work though is mentoring. There are so many kids out there in need of a Big Brother/Big Sister to mentor them and expose them to things like art, higher education, etc. For some kids navigating the system for things like financial aid for college is so difficult when there are no adults in their lives who have gone to college or speak Englis proficiently.

I didn't mean to write a novel but I am home right now so I have a bit more free time to think of these things and expound on them. I am looking forward to reading other responses.

Posted on: 2007/8/30 15:55
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Economic Diversity
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Lots of posts here about problems stemming from people living in rent controlled apartments and public housing. Lots of posts saying that one of the things people like about downtown is its diversity. I think that downtown is about as ethnically, regionally, linguistically, religiously diverse as one can imagine. In general people perceive this as enhancing the quality of life - tossing them together with interesting people, etc. No social intervention beyond creating a sense of reasonable safety and keeping city and transit services going was needed to achieve this.

Economic diversity probably takes more work - or social policy. Rent controlled apartments provide low cost housing, but do not always yield enough revenue to maintain buildings (if we are to believe owners) and they are not reserved for low income people - anyone who finds one can rent one. Like public housing they are perceived to be hotbeds of crime and social dysfunction. My guess is that the residents of these buildings bear the biggest brunt of the crimes and annoyances caused by a small % of their neighbors.

My question is how do we achieve economic diversity and also cut down on crime and behaviors that diminish quality of life. Years ago, I believe Andrew Sarris (I may be wrong) wrote a long article in the VV which essentially said petty criminals would take advantage of social integration and that crime would increase. Shortly thereafter I was looking at an apartment in Buffalo, NY and was assured by the landlord that if a black man ever showed up on the corner of Lexington and Norwood, a cop would be waiting for him by the time he got to Utica. We've come a long way.

Just interested in others' ideas and thoughts - not creative name calling and labelling. One thing that I would be interested to know about is the housing fund developers contribute to and how that is being used.

Posted on: 2007/8/30 13:39
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