Friday, October 25, 2013

Some Ward 7 ANC Commissioners not excited about SOME's plans for Benning Road development

Okay that was not the headline for the WBJ article I am linking to below but I refuse to promote the sensationalism of the word "gentrifier." It's wack and I don't do wack.

The reality is that this is just more of the same --- east of the river being used AGAIN to solve DC's "affordable" and transitional housing needs. In my opinion the last thing Benning Road needs is more low income or transitional housing. I would say the same for any neighborhood in Ward 7 and Ward 8. We have done enough, sacrificed enough, and sat on the sidelines entirely too damn long to watch more opportunities come to our neighbors on the other side of the river.

Until DC makes east of the river as financially attractive to developers for commercial development as it does transitional/affordable housing to nonprofits our neighborhoods are going to continue to be dumping grounds for this type of foolishness. That is the #1 reason why I can't let myself get too excited about the occasional ribbon cutting ceremony in Ward 8. Those press events don't even put an imaginary dent in the real problems we face every day. The poverty pimping machine is working too hard for too long and they are not going to let little ole you and me disrupt the gravy train.

Sometimes even I, The Advoc8te, want to throw up my hands and say, "F$%# it, I give up."

The money is in the treatment (group homes, transitional housing, rehabs) not the cure (vibrant and vital communities) and until we change that nothing is going to change. But to change that would mean that DC would have to look for real solutions for their affordable housing issues and not just keep pushing poverty to the edges of the city. Let me introduce you to a new term, "poverty herding." That is when you push all the unsightly poor people together and concentrate them into ghettos and then have to solicit someone to come in and "save" them -- which in the end just means concentrating more poverty together so Georgetown can get another Apple store or Whole Foods.

In case you didn't hear me the first 5,000 times I said it let me say it again. Focusing "affordable housing" in poor neighborhoods that have no jobs, services, or amenities is the very definition of insanity. "Affordable" housing should be located in neighborhoods where the majority are high income folks, not low income folks. Definitely not in neighborhoods  where brand new two bedroom condos are being listed for sale for only $45,000.

This is why I won't entertain conversations about the alleged "gentrification" of east of the river - we should be worried about "ghettofication" that is occurring on a daily basis. Round table discussions on "gentrification" are corny and pointless and that is why you won't see me in the audience or on the panel for them. It's a waste of time. There I said it, it is a waste of time. It's sensationalism at it's worst and pandering at its best.

Go HERE to read the Washington Business Journal article that was just posted at 12pm today about some community residents concerns about bringing more transitional/subsidized/affordable housing to another high value parcel of land.

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Anonymous said...

I was just thinking the same thing. I was calling it "in-sourcing poverty" but ghetto-fication is also the PERFECT word: Round up all "un-desirables" and transport them to a closed society away from "wholesome and pure people".

Anonymous said...

Ooooohhhh, paging Charles Wilson lol