Monday, April 23, 2012


There's another sad story about low-income housing and segregation in today's New York Times, this one from Texas. It's a familiar enough story about nimbyism, but it's interesting to point out the "weapon" that nimbyists successfully used to steer low-income housing units towards poor, minority neighborhoods. To decide where low-income units go, a scoring system is used in which "COMMUNITY SUPPORT" is the second-biggest point-getter (behind financial feasibility). Not surprisingly, more organized communities--which are typically among the wealthier communities--(which are typically among the more nimbyist communities), don't support low-income housing, and the units follow the path of least resistance. As a nonprofit developer quoted in the article put it: “Usually your more organized neighborhoods and communities are ones that have more resources, and those are the ones that are going to get organized more quickly if they don’t want you there.”   

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