Thursday, February 19, 2009

Got vacancies? Try artists

It's a continuing problem in Charlotte: Neighborhood gentrification (e.g. NoDa), combined with relentless and wasteful demolition of old buildings shrinks the spaces for artists, even while the city's arts community is trying to grow. And while the role of the arts in redeveloping ailing neighborhoods gets much lip service, the city and its major NGOs (non-governmental organizations, for the non-wonks reading) haven't succeeded in doing much to help provide housing.

Here's a piece about a program run through the Boston Redevelopment Authority, that uses the affordable-housing requirement for large projects (and note that it's a REQUIREMENT) as well other city-offered incentives. (Interesting factoid: The BRA director is John Palmieri, who from 2002 to 2004 was the City of Charlotte's director of economic development.)

Note this line in the linked-to piece above: "Boston already requires that at least 15 percent of units in large new residential buildings be priced based on income limits."

Hmmm. The recently released "Housing Charlotte 2007 Implementation Committee" had a subcommittee to look at that kind of idea, called "inclusionary zoning," but the name of the subcommittee was "Incentive-Based Inclusionary Housing Policies." A mole on the committee tells me anytime anyone mentioned anything about "mandatory" they were reprimanded and told the recommendation would be for only "incentive-based" techniques (i.e. voluntary).


back2office said...
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Anonymous said...

It sound like Mary's "hug and old building for the zillionth time, to hell with the free market" whine fest has gotten old and tired with this crowd. Heck, she'll censor anyone that doesn't agree with her anyway.

Rick said...

If these artists can't make a living doing what they do, then they aren't artists. They are just hobbyists who have made bad choices. Frankly, I could care less where they live.

I say this knowing a local artist who lives in a house much nicer than mine because he is good at what he does. I also know an artist who makes jewelry which I've bought for my wife. Several of my wife's friends have also bought from this person. She makes a fine living at what she does. I also know another guy who paints. He could probably even sell his work if he concentrated on it as a full-time job. He doesn't, I would presume, because he's a responsible member of society and wants to pay his own way. He works.

It's insulting to those who work that in these economic times saving artists who freely choose to do something that doesn't pay their own way is even a part of the discussion in where to spend public money.

Anonymous said...

Mary probably thinks it's OK for people to be squatters, too. To hell with private property rights: If you see something you want, just take it and then sue the owner when he tries to kick you out or evict you for not paying your rent.