RSS

Housing In Seattle: Should we have mixed income housing?

Dawg UW AAUP

NOTE: This is a cont8nuation of a thread that began with TA commenting on a NY TImes’ report placing Seattle at the top of places where poor families do well. Click on the image to read the TA post.

In a recent (AAUP) post on housing mobility among poor households, I wrote, “”Living next door to a middle class neighbor is going to give someone job skills to be more employable.”   I meant to write “… is NOT going to give someone job skills.”!!

My apologies for the most unfortunate oversight – and thanks for the catch, Thaisa Way and Stephen Padgett!

Sadly, I’ve been at a conference in which an attendee stated, “well, if they [poor people] look out every morning and see their neighbors going off to work they might stop and think, well, may that is a good idea, I should go to work too.”   This is so egregiously un/mis-informed that it almost bears ignoring but that’s just too dangerous.  Well, and it just doesn’t work that way, however pleased we might be with our own middle class lifestyles.

On the flip side of this, Oakland, CA based architect Michael Pyatok (Adjunct, UW Arch), who specializes in affordable housing and participatory design approaches wrote a letter appealing to HUD Secretary and President Obama, stating that:

” Mixing low-, moderate-, and middle-income households within the same neighborhood is perceived to be an improvement in livability for low-income households instead of being concentrated within primarily low income neighborhoods…. ”

Instead, he argued for an infusion of low-income working families into very wealthy communities to rectify the social pathologies resulting from high concentrations of wealth:

“…a more appropriate housing policy for dealing with the geography of crime and dysfunctional communities, is to import low-income working families into very wealthy communities to rectify the social pathologies resulting from high concentrations of wealth … The higher moral standards of families whose breadwinners must work for a living, can provide role models for the offspring of the wealthy, .”

A refreshing way to look at the situation that reveals our implicit assumptions.

Lynne

 


Lynne C. Manzo, PhD – Environmental Psychologist
Associate Professor, Dept. of Landscape Architecture
Adjunct Assoc Prof, School of Social Work
College of Built Environments

Your Comment