Sunday, December 30, 2007

Of Barracks and Mixed-Income ... reports that:

(New Orleans, LA) -- New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is asking HUD officials to provide assurances over the holidays they will meet the terms of the ordinance passed by the New Orleans City Council last week. Nagin says he wants to make sure the transition is smooth from older barracks style public housing projects to homes for the poor in mixed income neighborhoods.

He is specifically asking that "every public housing resident has the right to return to better housing will be upheld and that they indeed will have a "voice" in the redevelopment processes." This comes as the feds prepare to demolish four of the city's big housing projects. Nagin had said he would only issue the demolition permits when he is satisfied everyone who qualifies for public housing will have it as they tear down the old and build the new.

This is the first time I have seen the term “barracks style” applied to the housing projects, and I think it is critical to the decision to tear them down. “Civilians” are not meant to live in barracks, and the vast majority of residents are law-abiding but terrorized by the violent few.

HUD’s approach to replacing the demolished housing depends heavily on mixed-income neighborhoods. But does mixed-income housing work?

Paul C. Brophy, in a 1997 report for HUD titled “Mixed-Income Housing: Factors for Success,” suggests that:

Mixed-income housing works best where there are sufficient units aimed at the higher income renters to create a critical mass of market units and where there are no differences in the nature and quality of the units being offered that are due to the income of the renters. If upward mobility of the low-income residents is a goal, it is necessary to have activities that are specifically aimed at creating opportunities for them; income mixing alone is not sufficient. Perhaps the biggest challenge is income integration in neighborhood settings where property management is not able to set behavioral norms.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


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