Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Opportunity for OTR

Friday's Enquirer ran a pretty good article about the efforts to remake OTR from a rundown neighborhood into a thriving area which would be a model for urban revitalization in the country.

The article discusses some of the opposition, mostly those who fear displacement of the poor. When I write "poor" I don't mean those living in the DIC or squatting in an abandoned building. I mean people who legally have their own residence. The displacement of this group is the issue where criticism bears the most merit. Efforts need to be made to help anyone forced to move because of a building being rehabbed and turned into market rate living space. Those efforts should include relocation expenses up front to help people find a new place well ahead of their move. Efforts need to be made also to provide affordable apartments as well. The problem that remains is looking long term. So far most of the buildings that were in use for housing and remodeled were run down to nearly an uninhabitable state. Progress needs to be made and thorns (anti-development zealots) should not hold us back, but accommodations need to be made.

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