A real life example of how “affordable” housing is a public money giveaway for the wealthy.

The best and the brightest of African-American community have never had the privilege to be destroyed by madness; they have always been starved. The Civil Rights Act failed to fulfill the economic requirement and the void was ready to be filled by “New Blacks” who would do the work of their masters and get paid well to preempt the inevitable accusations of racial prejudice.

When you hear nonprofit and affordable housing they don’t mean what you think they mean, because 1960s redevelopment changed the game.

Redevelopment began in the 1960s. It coincided with the Civil Rights Movement.  Areas that were targeted for redevelopment were areas designated as “blight,” but many of the areas weren’t blighted. Areas like Inglewood a suburban city near Los Angeles in the 1960s wasn’t an area of blight, but it was an area that was quickly changing from white to Black.

The Demonstration Cities Act of 1966 (called the Models Cities Program) inspired redevelopment.

Redevelopment was the beginning of the government handing off its responsibilities to its citizens to developers and corporate. This single act fundamentally changed how the government, activism and, politics would work in the U.S. Redevelopment was essentially the Citizens United for activism.

“Private Initiative and Enterprise: The Program calls for encouragement of private initiative and enterprise of all kinds— the initiative and enterprise of individual homeowners, contractors, and builders to improve housing and environmental conditions; the involvement of business leaders and financial interests in carrying out the program, and the creation of an environment in which private enterprise can prosper in meeting the needs of the resi dents,” Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966.

Though the Model Cities Program ended in 1974 it  provided a perfect model on how to make poverty profitable for corporations and developers.

Designating an area for redevelopment meant that the community no longer had the freedom to do with their community as they wished.

Redevelopment took money from an area’s school district as well as its county, state and city services. Propositions like 13 in California and 2 ½ in Massachusetts weren’t the only thing that killed schools. Redevelopment took away funding from areas designated as the “inner city” (you know BLACK) all over the US.

What redevelopment essentially did was take tax dollars that used to go to the upkeep of cities and school districts and placed it in the hands of developers.

Redevelopment made the Civil Rights Movement toothless. It took away funds to run African-American communities and made poverty a money making endeavour —not for the poor, but for those “helping” the poor.

With city and county services being cut to give tax breaks (and tax credits) to corporate America and wealthy developers, those controlling the government realized they needed a stop gap. If the number of social workers are cut and funding for the schools is taken away there needs to be  a cheap way to replace those people and services.

If government owned housing projects are closed down those also need to be replaced.

The rightwing always felt that government needed to be smaller and they made it smaller.

This is where nonprofits began to come into play. Nonprofits are fine to supplement supports already in place, but in the African-American community they are now the foundation of the community.

Foundation funded nonprofits are an underfunded clever way to outsource government services and defund them.

And who is going to say anything bad about a nonprofit that is just helping the kids and the underserved?

Section 8 vouchers point are to privatize housing for the poor. Developers have learned how to profit from poverty. Developers have also realized that they can combine with a nonprofit (or church) and get the money to build low-income properties almost entirely paid for— by the community.

For example in Inglewood, California there was a project that was approved in 2011 called the Chandler Partners Regent Square development. It is a $42 million project funded with $13.9 million in housing set-aside funds, $4 million in HUD HOME, $20 million in tax exempt bonds and tax credit equity. That means the Chandler Partners built a private project with public money with no requirement after the project is done that it remain affordable or even a discussion prior to its approval if the surrounding community even wanted the project.

The Chandler Partners built a private project with public money ($37 million, is not a little money folks, they got a $42 million project built with only $5 million of their money and $37 million of YOURS) with no requirement after the project is done that it remain affordable. (In another post I’ll explain how short this time is with real life examples.)

And we all know what affordable means…In San Francisco, a family of four with an income of $105,000 per year would qualify for Section 8 subsidized housing vouchers. In New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Washington, DC, a family of four making more than $70,000 could qualify.

Foundation funded nonprofits have taken the place of working professionals. Instead of a nurse to give healthcare advice there is a poorly paid health community organizer. Foundation funded nonprofits have made jobs that at one point provided a somewhat comfortable middle class existence to professionals with agency and converted them to barely above minimum wage jobs with no health benefits and no retirement and no agency for those employed —to help people.

The poor are hired to help the poor, and they are paid poorly to do so.

Foundation funded nonprofits have taken the politics out of communities. Your community giving a hundred dollars here or there won’t shut you up, but a foundation dropping you $10,000 here and $50,000 there just might shut you up.

Most nonprofits can not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of their activities. Most nonprofits cannot participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

If Dr. King had been an executive director of a nonprofit Black people would still be sitting at the back of the bus.

Foundation (CORPORATE) funded nonprofits are the cover to slowly release the U.S. government from its social contract with the people of the U.S.

Policy strikes the Black community again, but I’m sure it wasn’t on purpose, at least this time…

by
Lark Lo

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