Author Topic: Seattle is dying  (Read 2125 times)


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Re: Seattle is dying
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2019, 09:19:45 AM »
Also another benefit is that longtime residents and homeowners benefit. You have great increases in quality of life, the quality of affordable housing rises, and existing home prices jump. In our old hood, it came at the expense of strong community bonds and loss of 'culture' (unless you count 14 starbucks as 'culture')
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Re: Seattle is dying
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2019, 04:32:55 PM »
Sanjeev, a similar story happened in Harlem, in various parts of Brooklyn, etc.

I had lived through the full gentrification process over a 10 year period in a part of Brooklyn. It was a Caribbean community for decades - and was full of drugs, crime, poverty. But it had natural benefits: close to a park, acceptable distance from Manhattan.

Eventually it turned into another of Brooklyn's gentrified neighborhoods and the condos went up. But the evolution was interesting - the creep of gentrification, essentially. We had a way of describing it: I spoke to a longtime resident about it, we had a particular way of describing it:"first the Asians moved in, then the gays, then the white ladies with strollers".

Crude, but it relays the message. The point is, you can't just throw up a condo as a magic solution. You cannot manufacture demand. In other words, it's not going to work in Missouri.

But when the conditions exist, it is the next step in the gentrification process. And it's hard to argue against, especially when the neighborhood gets 80/20s out of it as a type of compromise solution, and usually a better landlord and tenant mix.

The second problem is that in my experience, it doesn't really solve homelessness - it pushes it out to different areas. Sadly not very different from Giuliani sending the homeless on one-way greyhound buses far away from Manhattan.

I was going to reply something like this to Sanjeev's post.  After the gentrification of that particular area happened it looked a lot better, but where did the homeless go?   Many (most?) homeless people are severely mentally ill and/or hard drug addicts (usually both). These people didn't just decide to give up drugs, get jobs, and buy condos.  If they are no longer living in tents in that particular area, it only means they left and spread out into other areas.

Some got pushed out, but alot of them found better housing in the new social housing built by developers, rather than the run-down seedy hotels/motels managed by slumlords, et al.  Truth is that alot of people living on the street don't want to live in housing, in particular shared housing, because they don't like being around others or they are afraid their stuff will be stolen.  So they stay on the streets.  Creating individual secure units where the homeless can store their belongings with a small kitchen and washroom is what works. 

With those that get pushed out, other municipalities take up the same strategy, and also cut deals with developers to build more social housing in lieu of increased density and square footage per lot on the units they sell at market prices to the public.  So you don't simply push the problem away, you deal with it in a region. 

While social services like "Insite" reduced the number of deaths and overdoses, it had zero impact on any improvement in standard of living, homelessness or poverty.  It saved lives...but was not a solution.  Usually social services are rarely the solution.  The system also could not afford significant increases in mental health programs, so you have private social services that would populate the it's peak, you had some 300+ social services/businesses and maybe 100 actual commercial businesses in a 5 block by 5 block area of Vancouver!  So those people who think more social services is the solution to these types of problem are ignorant of the actual underlying root.

The main thing was that the government realized that the public system could neither afford to solve the problem, nor had all the resources to do so.  It took a partnership of give and take with developers, and brave entrepreneurs who moved back into the area or took over a run-down location, to more comprehensive policing and crime reduction policies...not more jail time, but trust and humanity...cops, paramedics, etc acting almost as guides for where people could get help, rather than lock them up or institutionalize them.

This same strategy has helped clean up the Whalley area of Surrey, which is the fastest growing municipality in North America.  Social housing is going up right next to half-million or million dollar condos and townhouses.  Restaurants, businesses, schools, bars/pubs, you name it are opening up the tent cities, reducing the number of drug users in the area, and getting rid of all of the pawn shops, cash now stores and run-down shi*hole drug houses.  It works and it works well!  Cheers!   
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