This morning I started going through some of the back newspapers I have collected to see what I missed. Local news is probably as important as national and international news, but it has a different effect. I want to know what kind of projects and activities are happening in the topics I like...and I also like to use the new items for research about costs for my future goals... building and land and labor expenses, I mean. I see what the City thinks is important, and how different groups are trying to make the world do what they want. I am always looking for items on homelessness, poverty, and food issues...and now I like to collect the items on crowdfunding.
Today I found articles on recapturing a part of the town that has been lost because of the natural process of city growth and poverty. I am glad the group is focusing on home ownership over renting, but that isn't a guarantee the city won't want their land in the future. I was thinking when I read the article that the theme of oppression might have some merit, but the fact of growth is that when a school or hospital needs to grow, it doesn't matter who is living around it, the land has to be acquired.
I think that is a reality of growth, but I also think that we can help each other through the process. A long time back I was thinking about the need for a piece of land and how to solve the problem of buying it when someone else has been there a long time. My view is that you help them get a better location and facilities, make it a benefit to move. Changing locations for a business can destroy them if they don't have the community following to travel with them. It is a very serious issue. But cities change, the people change, the roads change, and sometimes you can't avoid it.
The goal of the organization I read about is to try to recapture the historical spaces they once owned and live in these spaces, as a people, again. I think that is a great idea. If they can keep the loans for the process of buying, and make sure the area is rebuilt as time goes along, it won't become a distressed poverty pocket that requires a lot of tax dollars to maintain.
I read a long, long time ago that redevelopment travels with the age of the buildings that already exist. So what is often called gentrification is really a redevelopment and renewal issue. The problem here is that the owners need to be able to keep their properties up to code, rebuilt by them, and whatever else is needed to keep from becoming dilapidated, which is often where the poor have to live. It seems a lot of the issues that are present in this group's focus, in the history of the town, is that the poor are often renters and get displaced by the renewal process.
New building[s] cost more, so the loan payment rise[s], and old rents can't pay new loan payments. I think the only way to deal with this is to own the land, carry the loan, and keep connected to the people who live there and are trying to make a better life. I haven't found out if banks can flex like that -- they are very regulated for many reasons, but I think an organization could do that, and keep growing as the years go by.
This group, and Habitat for Humanity, don't seem to charge interest. I know there must be a reason, and I bet it involves the government and regulations, but they can't grow their funds without increasing what they have...and I think it is right to have the recipients pay something for the help they are getting. Since I found the verse in the Bible that says GOD charges 20% (flat fee, I think) when people borrow back their tithes, I have decided that a 20% loan fee would be fair. I don't know if that is legal yet, but I'm working on that goal.
If you want to check on the group I have been talking about, they have a website. I haven't checked it out yet, but you can do that for yourself. I hope to contact them with my own ideas about poverty housing options and home ownership in the near future. Building/creating 100 new homes for their people each year for the next ten years is a BIG goal... I hope they can do even more.
Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives
"Pathway 1000" is the project
This is in OREGON (USA)