Beach town offers subsidized housing to families evicted by racist policies of the 50s and 60s

Originally published at: Beach town offers subsidized housing to families evicted by racist policies of the 50s and 60s | Boing Boing


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I have the highest hopes, but a watchful eye.


You’ll feel much better when you get your eye out of the gutter. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


That sounds like the right thing to do. It won’t make up for the lost time and wealth, but better than nothing.


During the 1980s I saw what I now know are vestiges of the communities wiped out by the 10 freeway – modest homes with multi-generational LatinX families in the midst of the light industrial buildings that lined the freeway after it was built. I also had no idea of the history growing up, as I’m sure was intended.

You’ll see something similar along Sawtelle, the Japanese-American community of which was decimated when they were deported during WWII. The area is now very expensive real estate populated by high-end resturants and shops (some with a Japanese theme) but here and there you’ll see a plant-and-tree nursery that looks frozen in time.



Wow, reduced rent. Yeah.

This is a good way to keep those displaced people and kids of displaced people poor for more generations…

Rent assistance is just a good way of keeping poor people poor. Sorry. Rent is helping keep these people poor. Rent is what causes the problems of gentrification - if the people who lived in those neighborhoods were allowed to be invested in those neighborhoods, the rising tide would help them, not drown them.

Santa Monica needs to be finding these people housing, giving them a good down payment and a guaranteed loan, and doing everything that they can to work with them to get them into home ownership. It’s what they are owed.

Honestly, the older I am getting, the more I am thinking that the fairest thing and the best thing to do would be to go in and condemn whole swaths of poor neighborhood and buy them from the landlords at roughly market rates, turn around and sell them (basically, everyone gets a loan, and they own the house after 10 years or something like that) to the people who are renting them, train people from the neighborhood in construction and repair, pay them and subsidize repairs to get those homes up to code. People need roots, people need stability, and it turns out that rent is really, really bad for a lot of people and it has caused generations of problems due to redlining and discrimination, and it’s time to fix it.

Everyone who wants to own a home should be able to buy a home.


I can 1,000,000 percent get behind this idea.

One place to see how rent controls have failed? NYC.

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Not everyone does. Owning a house is expensive, as you have constant upkeep (so both time and money) and once you do own it outright, you need to pay taxes, which are not stable overtime.

How about we not assume that there is some one size fits all MARKET-BASED solution to this and start treating housing for what it is - a human right we’re all entitled to.

Um, we did that in ATL and thousands of working class Atlantans were pushed out of the city as a result (mostly Black working class citizens). One of the very last things Mayor Bottoms did on her way out the door was two green light two pilot programs of guaranteed income - one for working class Black women (specifically single mothers, I believe) and one for anyone who qualified (I forget how many people each program is capped at). The best way to fix these kinds of issues is not to let the market deal with it, but rather to put money and resources into the hands of people who best know what they need. If you want the government to “get out of the way” this is a key place to do it. Stop having the government treat working class people like moral failures for being poor, but instead to recognize that the problem are the structures that are currently weighted towards those with money and resources to hoard even more money and resources. The government should work for working families, not for rich landlords…

That’s because rent control has been consistently attacked and subverted… Rent control worked to keep working class people in their homes for decades, and in fact STILL often does.


The city used to be called “The People’s Republic of Santa Monica” because of its supposed progressivism but now it’s a more bitter kind of joke. Listen to the city council meetings on KCRW and you’ll hear a bunch of wealthy white older people struggling to hide their Nimbyism behind a scrim of progressive jargon and appeals to 60s nostalgia. That this decision was made despite that culture is quite extraordinary.

They’re owed the security of a roof over their heads. Home ownership isn’t the only way to accomplish that, and it’s nearly as easy for a mortgage payer to find himself out on the street as it is for a rent payer.

There aren’t any “poor neighbourhoods” in Santa Monica. Maybe a run-down residential block here and there, but the town was rendered unaffordable to all but the most wealthy decades ago.

Fixed. We’ve seen what American housing has become in the years since Reagan took office: a speculative asset class for individual households rather than places to live in within a larger community. Ownership of something --especially absent regulation – does not automatically confer respect for those around one; American car culture alone should serve as proof of that.

In what way? When I lived in NYC people who got into rent-controlled apartments before the landlords significantly hobbled the system were envied by everyone. The landlords weren’t really suffering under the controls either, despite their complaints.

New York, and Manhattan in particular, has been in a declared or undeclared “housing emergency” since WWII, meaning that it’s always in short supply and therefore expensive and consequently lucrative to landlords and developers whether or not controls are in place.

Rent control is definitely a bandage solution to stanch an ever-bleeding injury. I’d rather see developers get incentivised for building more affordable multi-family housing units and landlords penalised more aggressively for not keeping their properties well maintained. But both those approaches also involve the bad ol’ state interfering in the “free” market and that’s not how it’s done in the Greatest Country on Earth.


so, not only do cars spew poisonous exhaust, greenhouse gases, kill the most people apart from disease, and we fight endless wars to stabilize the petrodollar for them; but also, local governments throughout the US intentionally use their infrastructure to displace and wall-off poor citizens in the most racist way possible.

we’re still driving cars. still. in 2022.

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What are we sorry for today, exactly?

… and everybody else should be homeless :roll_eyes:


ok, I stand corrected. Small businesses in NYC is likely an entirely different ball o wax, especially if the observations rants of a certain right to repair advocate are correct…

I don’t think the problem has ever been from small businesses, though, but large corporations exploiting the law and the need for tax revenue to essentially do what they want with NYC property. Small business owners are more likely to be fully embedded in the community they serve and less likely to have access to the means of entrenching corruption legally in public policy. That doesn’t mean that a small business owner can’t be corruption, but that the corruption is more likely to localized. It’s like the difference between owning a duplex and renting one side out and being Donald Trump and owning real estate that you don’t personally oversee yourself.


I believe that so much progress has been stopped in the name of “Sure, it is helpful but it doesn’t solve the whole problem of injustice everywhere right now – so don’t bother.”


Unfortunately, grifters in the private and public sector have been running long, successful campaigns designed to demonize members of every class that isn’t theirs. As a result, we attack each other while they find new ways (or double down on the old ways) to profit at our expense. That’s why we can’t tax the top 1-5%, improve the social safety net, or proceed with any truly progressive agenda.

We see the similar negative feedback whenever positive examples like this housing policy, UBI pilots, or other reforms of existing systems are attempted. When are the majority of people going to stop chasing distractions about Boomers, landlords, anyone with a job/pension/something they don’t have, etc. and focus on setting aside differences to achieve goals for the common good?


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It ignores that progressive change is often incremental and localized rather than all at once and sudden.

I would hope sooner rather than later (as well as let go of the idea of a set of perfect solutions that we can implement all at once), but even here in this thread, there is plenty of fatalism and rejection of some smaller term solutions because they are not 1) perfect solutions to ALL THE PROBLEMS, and b) not comprehensive… If we have to keep pushing through smaller-scale, localized solutions, that can one day be models for larger things, I’m okay with that.


Progress is small incremental change (as you note), calamity is everything suddenly changing all at the same time. I’d rather not have calamity, that too often takes the form of war or natural disaster.