Thursday, May 28, 2009

Low Income Housing Venture a Waste of Money

Another day, another proposal for low income housing in Racine.

This time the proposal is for downtown Racine on 6th Street. The Racine Journal Times has the story. The building in question is a former YMCA owned by Emily Hill. Linda Ring Weber, Executive Director of The Housing Authority of Racine County wants to convert the building into 10 to 12 low income apartments.

This makes no sense whatsoever. Turning a gymnasium into housing will be extremely expensive. There would be a water hookup fee of a few thousand dollars per unit and let us not forget the prohibitively expensive sprinkler system that would be required. Well, prohibitive for the private sector anyway.

These are the reasons why large downtown buildings have not been coverted to apartments. The cost is way too high, water taxes and requirements are very expensive and taxes on the improvements sap any potential for profits.

Now only government has the resources remaining to build in Racine. My guess is this will cost over $2 million if it is completed. And this will be money spent unnecessarily. The Housing Authority already has an office and Racine has a surplus of low income housing.

Instead of wasting this money on real estate development, the Housing Authority should instead spend the money on housing its clients in the empty homes that already exist.

18 comments:

Colt said...

I think the Downtown does not need any more slums. WE have more then we need now. Is that all they can think of?

Nemo said...

Dennis, the term "extremely expensive" only applies when spending your own hard earned dollars. When looting and spending other peoples money the term is "compassionate". And if you can get a kick-back to enrich yourself and your fiends it's called "Milwaukee"

Anonymous said...

Dennis, Hopefully you have some influence with your friend Mayor Dickert. This is just the type of project he looks to support, based on his past history with failed projects, Pointe Blue, River Bend Loft Condos, 15th and Main St. condo conversion. It seems to be a tally of millions of dollars brought into Racine as "development" even if the "development" fails.

Mayor Dickert, Racine has a lot of potential to support sustainable development, we truly have a world class city, on a world class lake. Don't burden us with low class developments just so the numbers look good. #1, dump the Dollar Store proposal for the former Shaefer site, it is a gateway street to the Lakefront.

I have faith in you, that you are concerned with our city, don't let politics and the illusion of 'power' taint your vision.

Anonymous said...

I have only lived in Racine for a couple of years, but I completely do not understand the city's rationale for development. It seems like they don't even have any sort of plan. It swings from creating an "artist's community" in uptown to building another family dollar a few blocks away. This is another example of the extreme short-sightedness of the Racine government. If this as well as the West Racine development offer were passed, in 10-20 years Racine would become Gary, Indiana. I know "urban redevelopment" is a dirty phrase, but perhaps Racine should look towards Chicago and the improvements that city has made with such plans.

Has anyone heard or seen Dickert's mythical 10 year plan?

Colt said...

"... in 10-20 years Racine would become Gary, Indiana.."

We are almost there now. Without the lead of the WEst Racine area standing up to RCEDC and Mayor Becker.
IMHO becuse WEst Racine values their Farmers Market not only for the food but for public green meeting place.
All around Racine due to groups like Racine Urban Gardening Network and Eat Right Racine among others Neighborhoods are being created and taking action to fix up there area and by that the City.
Woe to the old school of "lets stick this slum here" thinking by RCEDC and others

Bepreparedalot said...

I've lived in Racine for almost 6 years now and do not consider most of it ""
Gary, Indiana". I was born and raised (21 years) in Gary, Indiana. I can see parts of Racine that look like Gary, but only small parts. We need to stay involved and not let a few people make all the decisions. Everyone needs to take care of their property, even if they are renting. Grass is still green in Gary and flowers would grow. Cement and brick work the same as anywhere and siding goes on the same way. People also can act like humans and not wild animals in Racine and Gary and everywhere in this country. We have to remember what made this country great, can still make this country great! Hardwork, diligence, bravery, and prayer!!!
By the way Dennis, nice to have met you last night at the Tea Party meeting. I sat on your right.

Nemo said...

Anon 4:26, Sun Tzu summed it up best,

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."

Denis Navratil said...

Nemo, glad to have your input my friend. And thanks for visiting my blog bepreparedalot. Stop in again.

Greg Helding said...

Denis, et al. -

This proposal is coming from county government. The Racine County Housing Authority is planning this, not the city. In fact, the city has nothing to say about it, as the building is zoned for the use they propose.

I spoke to several county officials about this and they don't seem to care. Something tells me that if the city were some how able to place a low income housing unit in the middle of Union Grove or Burlington, they would find a way to care.

For those of you who are interested, the Board of Commissioners for the Housing Authority:

Thomas White, Chair
Robert Brown
Ronald Molnar
Donald Trottier

The website does not list any contact information for the board members, but the office phone number is 636-3405

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this information - this is very interesting!

Downtown Brown said...

Thanks Greg, for the information I'll look into it Thursday.

Urban Pioneer said...

I am wondering if there will be a Water impact fees of $100,000.00 like was to be imposed on the Laundromat a block to the west. If so can that be the obstacle that will block this Govt. subsidized venture??

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