Skip to comments.Inclusionary Housing is Sociological Suicide
Posted on 08/11/2007 9:25:02 PM PDT by WayneLusvardi
Inclusionary Housing is Sociological Suicide
The Pasadena Pundit - August 11, 2007
Inclusionary housing is a recipe for sociological suicide in the City of Pasadena.
What is inclusionary housing? It is a law which forces every four new condo buyers or apartment renters to subsidize the price or rent of one low income housing unit in Pasadena. Developers do not pay for inclusionary housing units - they just pass through the costs to new owners and renters. Recipients of inclusionary housing are typically drawn from a pool of applicants often steered to the new inclusionary developments by the politically well-connected.
In Pasadena and elsewhere inclusionary housing is making developers build luxury condo or apartment units for low income occupants. Inclusionary housing developments typically have gyms, pools, mini-theaters, built-in high-price grocery stores, and are proximate to public transit stations. Conventional affordable housing is old, small, obsolescent housing with few if any luxuries, and is not near shopping or public transportation. Inclusionary housing has redefined low income housing as the right to luxury housing.
Inclusionary housing developments are invariably located on former commercial-zoned land in downtown or central city areas, not in single family home neighborhoods. Inclusionary housing is thus a reaction to the "Not-In-My-Back-Yard" (NIMBY) politics. In Pasadena that means dumping all the new low income housing into the downtown donut hole surrounded by single family estate home districts (hence the term "Pasadonuts").
Inclusionary housing is also a local response to State-mandated low income housing quotas. But such quotas are a bottomless pit and are not based on any objective deficiency of low or moderate income housing. The continual supply of new economic migrants and the bottomless number of people who want to own rather than rent housing makes such a quota meaningless and politicized.
For example, the U.S. Community Census of 2005 indicates that 24.1% of individuals and 36.6% of families in Pasadena are in poverty, compared to 22% and 26.2% respectively for the State of California. In other words, Pasadena already is providing more than its fair share of low income housing. There is no low income housing crisis in Pasadena in objective terms, despite highly emotional media and activist portrayals otherwise.
Pasadena is believed to have a deficiency of "workforce" housing for moderate income people. But this deficiency would not exist if the working class had not been pushed out of housing in the first place by politically protected enclaves of economic migrants neighborhoods with the oldest and smallest housing stock. Neither would the homeless have been pushed out onto the streets had flop houses and old motels not also been taken over by economic migrants. The economic migrants who occupy the most affordable housing stock in Pasadena mainly serve the business interests in the tourist, hotel, house painting, and non-union construction industries.
All of the above facts don't seem to daunt Pasadena's elite inclusionary housing policy advocates including Pasadena's Mayor Bill Bogaard, Councilwoman-real estate broker Margaret McAustin, and the city's housing intelligentsia from sociologist Peter Dreier, to Evangelical housing advocate Jill Shook, to rent control advocate Philip Koebel, or to affordable housing media gate-keeper and editor Larry Wilson of the Star News.
Inclusionary housing is destructive to mediating institutions. Mediating structures are defined as "those institutions that stand between the individual in his private life and the large institutions of public life." They are institutions that stand between the lone individual and the Big Business and Big Government. Mediating institutions, such as families, churches, neighborhoods, private schools, and voluntary associations, make people feel "at home" in society. Unions, boards of education, PTA's, the NAACP, and even nonprofit housing agencies can be mediating institutions. But in Pasadena they have largely been co-opted and corrupted by politicians and plied with government money or lawsuit awards. Witness the co-optation of the School Board by the shadowy Pasadena Education Foundation.
Without independent mediating institutions the political order must be secured by coercion rather than consent, making democracy disappear. Without mediating cultural institutions there is only totalitarianism which is nearly impossible to dismantle. Both liberal and conservative politics in Pasadena and elsewhere are blind to mediating structures. But it is government which is most destructive to such institutions.
To liberalism the great concern is for the individual, for individual rights, and for justice. Anything that exists between the individual and government is seen as irrelevant, backward, bigoted, superstitious, and an obstacle to the rational ordering of society. But liberalism leaves the individual exposed to the State and its impersonal bureaucracies, and thus, without a psychological home. Liberals tend to think that nonprofit agencies filled with professionals can substitute for mediating structures, when they can't. Witness the state of our public schools, the rise of gang warfare in Pasadena, and the eclipse of neighborhood in certain housing projects and elsewhere.
Liberal court decisions and social engineering have fractured Black families, destroyed neighborhood schools, pushed churches to the periphery in caring for children and the elderly, and supplanted such institutions with nonprofits beholden to the Democratic political machine. Although the private sector provides about 90% to 95% of the affordable housing in Pasadena (including student housing), the housing intelligentsia and local media have made us believe that only government provides housing for the poor and the workforce.
Inclusionary housing: 1. Dislocates families far from extended family networks, neighborhood schools and churches into luxury dwellings in the downtown "urban village," which is mainly marketed to those elites who want to escape the parochialisms of society, such as mediating structures. Such commercialized escape zones are hardly places to raise children or adolescent boys. 2. Loosens informal social controls over youth often in indulgent one-parent homes. 3. By geographically spreading the poor, only cruelly increases the perceived burden of poverty in stark contrast with the affluence the poor are forced to live with. 4. Places low income families near rich downtown churches the poor are unlikely to feel at home in. 5. Lessens police leverage over anti-social families who may be given inclusionary condos rather than the controls by landlords. Homeowner associations are much easier to exploit than landlords with the power of eviction. 6. In large part disenfranchies familes from the key area of education by compelling single parents to work and send their children to public schools and nonprofit child care and after-school programs. To deny poor parents the ability to shop elsewhere for schools is the worst class, and racist, bias of all. 7. Places children and adolescents in the hands of en loco parentis therapeutic professionals whose claims to expertise, especially with bullying adoescent boys, is dubious.
In sum, inclusionary housing is sociological suicide.
Perhaps generally, but not in MA. Every town is required to set aside low-income housing.
In order to meet the requirement, town officials practically extort bribes from developers who wish to build non-low income houses - but can't do so without the town's approval.
Both these are major problems, but I fail to see how they are directly affected by inclusionary housing policy.
You convinced me. I am also assured that it will be implemented, and, when proved suicidal by your predictions being confirmed by interested observers, will be judged so successfully PC that its implementation will spread against all reason and logic to other cities because reason and logic do not operate at governmental levels. I thank you for ‘spitting into the wind’ as you have done against powerful advocates of such a scheme. Healthcare and Social Security are failures now, and there is no room for further support burdens in the shrinking financial envelope of the middle class.
If as a parent you are compelled to work as a condition of an inclusionary housing unit, you are compelled to rely on public schools, child care and after school programs. If you are not the disciplinarian for your children, the therapists are.
Not because I want to be mean to handicapped folks, but because it opened the floodgates for do-gooders to take control of private property. If the government wants private property used for handicapped parking, the government should purchase the property and take it off the tax rolls.
If the government wants to provide low priced condos, the government can purchase some and then rent them out.
Towns are getting around this, Chapter 40B, which requires setting aside 25 percent of units for the poor. Towns are passing bylaws that exempt small building owners seven units or less from complying with 40B. The effect will promote smaller scale development in the suburbs free of riff raft. The cities will have to carry the burden of housing the poor.
You know how far down the road to tyranny we’ve traveled when no less a liberal personage than Jimmy Carter himself advocated neighborhood ethnic purity during his 1976 presidential campaign:
“The furor began when Carter was asked in Indianapolis to explain his recent statement that there was “nothing wrong with ethnic purity being maintained” in neighborhoods. Carter replied that he wholeheartedly supports open-housing laws that make it a crime to refuse to sell or rent a house or apartment on the grounds of race, color or creed. But he opposes Government programs “to inject black families into a white neighborhood just to create some sort of integration.” Said he: “I have nothing against a community that is made up of people who are Polish, or who are Czechoslovakians, or who are French Canadians or who are blacks trying to maintain the ethnic purity of their neighborhoods. This is a natural inclination.” Excerpted
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
Also I should have added that inclusionary housing increases family economic expectations (keeping up with the Joneses). I have watched how low income families move in to these units and immediately buy their adolescent son a new car now that they have seemingly made it into the middle class (at least symbolically). Then I’ve watched the repo man with his tow truck come and take the cars back time and time again. Single parents must work to keep up the new more affluent lifestyle in an inclusionary unit. Also grocery stores near or within such projects typically cater to the elites. The occupants of inclusionary units shop at such stores by convenience, which puts further economic pressure on the family.
If the government wants to provide low priced condos, the government can purchase some and then rent them out.
You are correct! The Americans Disability Act is just another camels nose under the tent for government control of our lives. Healthcare will do the same but more and succumbing to the "global warming" threat will do even more.
This was an outstanding job of articulating the consequences to an attempt to solve a nasty problem. I'd be interested to see his ideas about how this society should house the poor. Personally, I'm a big fan of bringing back servants' quarters. The real barriers to employing and housing the poor is government's tendency to tax and regulate it to death.
“...town officials practically extort bribes from developers who wish to build non-low income houses...”
Sounds like an illegal exaction that violates the USSC Tigard decision. Then again, I’m sure these arbitrary demands to build low-income gerbil boxes are right in line with other left wing utopian decrees that force people to spend money for the Marxist common good, as determined by the state.
Someone in town with lots of money and time should threaten to take the fascist city fathers to court.
Turns out, when the perps were caught, it was several folks from the apt. complex. It was then that we learned that a hugh group of residents had been brought into the complex from Dorcester and Roxbury!! They weren't local folks at all! After that group was caught, we haven't had any more problems, but if you look at the police blotter in the local paper, there are always several calls each week from that complex.
It’s always in the form of negotiations - the town will hold open hearings that take place at night when working people are too tired and busy to go and be heard.
But it’s always like, “OK, you help us with our low-income requirement, and we’ll let you build. Oh and thanks for donating to the school system, we really appreciate that...”
You thought forced-busing was bad.... now it’s like “forced-housing”.