Economic Policy | June 21, 1986 & Jun 25,
Letter to Los Angeles Times
Your paper has two articles incredibly back-to-back (June 6).
On the front page there is a story of the Democratic-run House voting
to approve a Republican-sponsored proposal halting construction of
virtually all new public housing for the poor: The House opted instead
to use the money to upgrade existing, deteriorating units.
This at first sounds like a good idea, because nationwide there is a
glut of public housing units that could be made habitable. However, it
is then pointed out that in the big cities there is a desperate shortage
of public housing for the poor, which cannot be solved by simply
renovating, sometimes tearing down existing units. Nevertheless, the
representatives chose to vote for renovation or construction
instead of for the obvious solution of renovation and
construction, using the same amount of money but in ways tailored to
Oh well, this lack of creative, compassionate thinking is to be
expected from "leaders" following a President who, according to the
next news article, is having a hard time deciding whether or not to
accept a luxury dog "White House", professionally decorated with
parquet flooring, Reagan-red curtains, and a silver jellybean bowl!
Our country seems to be going to the dogs, which ain't all bad
-- they get better housing!
Editorial by the Los Angeles Times
Believe it or not, Congress is edging toward creating a new housing
program, and in these days of save, don't spend, the measure even has
bipartisan support. That may be because it mixes the notion of federal
support for housing in the inner city with the American dream of home
ownership. Contained in the omnibus housing bill soon to come before the
Senate, the program deserves the widest possible support.
The potential housing breakthrough is called the Nehemiah housing
opportunity program -- Nehemiah having been the biblical prophet who
rebuilt the walls of ancient Jerusalem after it was destroyed by the
The authors of the Nehemiah legislation anticipate that $150 million
in federal money could help in the construction of at least 10,000 homes
across the country -- possibly more...
The Nehemiah plan is of course only one element in the housing
legislation that was passed by the House this month. That measure would
redirect most federal public housing construction money into
Archive of PROSPERITY: Economic Policy
| Editor |
| Legal | Links