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July 20, 2010

Comments

tacitus

Do you have any comments / thoughts on why it's so difficult to get the city council to look at KC's housing policy? With a situation like this, it should be clear that any change would probably be one for the better.

If the council has no trouble hearing cases of people growing vegetables in their yard, surely they can seek public input in a case like this?

What gives?

Brent

This is purely speculation on my part -- but here's why I think it is:

I think the solution is hard. And I think the entire council/mayor know they will likely be voted out of office if they don't get some wins -- and this one may take more time than they have AND cost them votes in the process.

First off, even addressing the issue is going to get complaints of racism (you don't have to look far to see them even when I mention it). So that's obviously a drawback for anyone to even tackle the issue.

Then, on the other side, it's going to be hard. You simply can't just end all of the project-based section 8 and then say "good luck to ya" and be done. Most folks who live in subsidized housing rely on public transit -- so they will continue to need housing on major public transit routes. If you're going to allow people to disperse, you then have to address our struggling public transit. Then they also need access to different types of support systems (career counseling, etc) that right now is centralized in the areas near the project-based units. So you have to provide options for the organizations that provide these support systems so they can be more accessible for folks.

Then you tie in the need to collaborate with the the Feds through HUD and through the state housing authority (who has actually been coming to the table of late) and you have a complicated mess to clean up that will end up leading to cries of racism -- which will cost votes. And no one feels secure enough in their job to do something politically challenging -- which is how we got to this point in the first place.

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