Monday, October 25, 2010

Public Housing Problems

Cabrini Gre Yesterday's N.Y. Times ran story about the dire state of public housing around the country.  Some key 

Newark . . . has shuttered 600 units that it cannot afford to fix. The city was given federal approval to raze 1,004 more, but it cannot pay for the demolition. In Washington, the District of Columbia Housing Authority . . . is still $200 million short of what the authority says it needs for repairs. Baltimore’s housing authority needs $860 million for crucial repairs, said the housing commissioner, Paul T. Graziano; it has demolished or shuttered 33 percent of its units since the 1990s and has another 600 “on the verge of failure,” with falling cabinets, unhinged doors and aging electrical systems.

The case for housing vouchers looks stronger and stronger everyday, but what to do about these aging units that still exist?  Is it more cost effective to knock them down and start over (with different policies) or spend the money to rehab a the crumbling buildings?

Steve Clowney

Pic of Cabrini Green used under creative commons license

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