Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Flint Demolition Plan

The Flint plan is typical liberal thinking. I didn't hear the talk show hosts catch it either. Why aren't they tearing down the projects instead? Move the people from the projects into these houses and stop paying housing subsidies for them.I'm sure that Habitat for Humanity will be glad to help renovate those things! Geez! Do I have to think of everything!
It will take a long term burden off the taxpayer by eliminating the housing subsidies that we are paying now.
Is anyone thinking out there?

edit: 7/20/2009:

Here's a link to a discussion of the idea in a Flint online newser that hashes out the idea:


note that there are considerable attacks on the idea.


Kevin McKague said...

In the comments section of the Flint Journal online-edition,(link here), where this blog post was printed in the letter's section
some more very good points were made:

Posted by MikeInGB on 06/29/09 at 12:08PM
Ken, could you expand on your comment that the shrinking cities idea is typical liberal (and therefore, bad) thinking? I'm always a bit surprised when conservatives complain about brining expenditures in line with revenue.

Here are some facts about Flint (if you care). Flint once had a population of nearly 200,000 residents. It now stands at barely over 100,000. Since 2000, city property tax revenue is down 50% and city income tax is down 40%, yet the physical land mass remains the same. Flint has to provide the same level of services today on half the budget they had only a decade ago. It doesn't take an economist to figure out that it is unsustainable. Some neighborhoods are already 70% vacant. The whole point of the shrinking cities concept is to entice the few remaining people in the most dilapidated neighborhoods to move to more populated areas. Then they could doze the old neighborhoods, green it, and shut off services (sewer, water, police, fire, etc) saving the city money while increasing property values of the surrounding neighborhoods.

As for having Habitat for Humanity renovate all the abandoned houses, at last count there were roughly 14,000 of them in the city of Flint. It doesn't matter if you could wave a magic wand and have them all fixed up immediately. There is simply way too much housing left in the city for the population that lives there. The loss of 70,000 (some estimate 80,000) GM jobs will have that affect on a community.

I really don't know why this became such a partisan issue (other than the fact it was mentioned on Rush's show). It sounds like common sense to me.

Ken Weaver said...

You did not answer one question I posed. This is nothing but a deflection. You still can renovate enough of these houses to move everyone out of the projects before you tear any of those houses down. Indeed if there are so many that are abandoned it will be easy to find some that need minimal repairs, thus creating a further savings. Moving people out of subsidized housing will eliminate a burden on the budget. You gloss that over and accuse me of not addressing it. Typical.
Putting just the ammount of housing back on the tax rolls that would be created by moving people out of the projects would more than pay for itself in eliminating housing subsidies.
Nice try.

MikeInGB said...

Ken, the housing subsidies are state and federal aid. The City of Flint would not save a penny if the aid were removed. You are correct that getting people into abandoned homes would get them back on the tax rolls, which is good for the city. That is what the Genesee County Land Bank is all about.

If you doze the projects and relocate those residents to previously vacant homes, what makes you think they still wouldn't qualify for state and federal aid? All you would be doing is moving welfare recipients from one place to another. The projects would be gone but that doesn't address the larger issue, which is shrinking the city infrastructure to fit the current population.

Flint was a boomtown many decades ago and was built to house upwards of a quarter million people. The population peaked at just fewer than 200,000 and is currently barely over 100,000. There is a huge glut of housing that has been rotting for decades. Some blocks have only 1 or 2 homes still occupied. The concept is to completely close down those areas and cut off services (water, sewer, fire, police, road maintenance, etc.) to save the city money. Flint currently has a $15 million deficit so new and unconventional plans are being considered.

Could you please explain how it is "typical liberal thinking"?


Ken Weaver said...

The idea is that you didn't even consider putting generational government dependents in them before tearing them down. That's the "liberal thinking" part.
As for the idea , it is sound if you use what you can first to remove as many tax burdens fron Americans (not just Flint residents)first.
I would suggest that you teardown the abandoned plants and start tearing down any abandoned neighborhoods around them first as a way of maximizing potential area for development of an industrial park to attract new business.

Now we are having a conversation.

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An inconvenient debt.