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Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-22-2006, 11:40 AM   #1
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Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

From an article in the Washington Post:

Middle-class neighborhoods, long regarded as incubators for the American dream, are losing ground in cities across the country, shrinking at more than twice the rate of the middle class itself.

In their place, poor and rich neighborhoods are both on the rise, as cities and suburbs have become increasingly segregated by income, according to a Brookings Institution study released Thursday. It found that as a share of all urban and suburban neighborhoods, middle-income neighborhoods in the nation's 100 largest metro areas have declined from 58 percent in 1970 to 41 percent in 2000.

Widening income inequality in the United States has been well documented in recent years, but the Brookings analysis of census data uncovered a much more accelerated decline in communities that house the middle class.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...062101735.html
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-22-2006, 12:10 PM   #2
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

I'm seeing this trend in Raleigh too. The older neighborhoods seem to either gentrify or slowly go down hill, perhaps to eventually gentrify. My current neighborhood is "on the edge" right now. A lot of the original residents who purchased houses in the late 1960's still live here, but they are slowly dying off or moving to retirement homes. The new wave of homeowners are a mix of white and blue collar, with an above average proportion of ethnic minorities.

I think in 10 years we'll know which way the neighborhood is headed. It's in a prime spot near downtown and shopping. Other similar areas closer in have gentrified well over the last few decades. The "new neighborhood" housing options (where all the middle class are fleeing to) all suffer from being way out on the outskirts of town, and have horrible commutes and traffic problems.

Our neighborhood elementary school reflects the change in demographics best. When my brother attended the school 23 years ago, it was almost exclusively white and middle class students. Performance was great and it had a reputation of being a good school. Now, just about the only neighborhood residents with kids are the younger families who tend to be poorer and non-white. The demographic shift in the neighborhood is very evident at the neighborhood elementary school.

I keep wondering if the middle class might return and trade cookie cutter homes, isolation and 45 minute drives into town for a neighborhood with tree-lined streets, friendly neighbors, and convenient access to schools, shopping, etc.
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-22-2006, 12:35 PM   #3
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

Quote:
"This is about upward mobility and class. Until the 1970s, middle-class blacks and other minorities often had little choice about where they could live," said Kotkin, the author of "The City: A Global History." He added: "They usually had to live close to lower-income people of their own race. Now, if they can afford it, they can move to higher-income neighborhoods. Dollars trump race. Many choose not to live around poor people."
at least that is good news.... that it isnt about race.

I always wonder if the government is somehow subsidizing this push out with the interstate system.

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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-22-2006, 12:42 PM   #4
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

But it is about class.

I like living in urban neighborhoods. Our neighborhood is mostly renters. It is even more so than when we moved here 9 years ago. I think my neighborhood is getting poorer. But it is a guess on my part.


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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-22-2006, 01:09 PM   #5
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
But it is about class.

I like living in urban neighborhoods. Our neighborhood is mostly renters. It is even more so than when we moved here 9 years ago. I think my neighborhood is getting poorer. But it is a guess on my part.
I think class is the issue! Why would someone want to live in an eewwwww!!! old neighborhood when the shiny clean neighborhoods are available just 30 minutes out and for only $500 more per month?

Gotta keep up with the Joneses, and the Joneses got a new house. Besides, a hummer would look pretty silly in the driveway of a house in my neighborhood.
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-22-2006, 02:15 PM   #6
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddy the Turbo Beagle
I always wonder if the government is somehow subsidizing this push out with the interstate system.
That and GM buying trolley companies and running them out of business.
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-22-2006, 04:29 PM   #7
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

this is becoming such a big issue in south florida that we have way more headlines about affordable housing then we do about any bubble. here are headlines in local paper real estate/biz section just over past few days:

Developer stresses affordability in building Riviera Beach condos

No vacancy is a sign of the times for offices, apartments in S. Florida

Complex plans for affordable housing divide Boca council

Boca to hear plans on providing housing for middle-income families

Developers cheer rejection of affordable housing law by Lauderdale commission

Naugle sticks to his guns in fiery e-mail exchanges on affordable housing

Fort Lauderdale to vote on downtown low-income apartment tower

Broward official under fire for slow results in affordable housing crisis


etc etc etc

monroe county, to our south, has already started construction of worker housing. while many domestic & hospitality workers are bussed in from southwest dade county, some hotels are building dormatory style housing for their indentured servants employees.

where once individual property rights signaled the modern age, sometimes it seems we are headed right back to feudalism.
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-22-2006, 04:40 PM   #8
 
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
But it is about class.

I like living in urban neighborhoods. Our neighborhood is mostly renters. It is even more so than when we moved here 9 years ago. I think my neighborhood is getting poorer. But it is a guess on my part.


There was just a story this week here in Minneapolis. There was a fire at a home where some people died. The Slumlord was renting out a space of about 15 x 20 to about 20 people. Women with children. They all worked but at minimum wage this was all they could afford. The space rented for about $500 a month. Broke every fire code on the books. This will become more common in the future.

The working poor. It has always been a fact of life in 3rd world countries. It is now coming to America.


No they're not on welfare, not on drugs and not insane - Just poor - working for the man.
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-22-2006, 04:42 PM   #9
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
....monroe county, to our south, has already started construction of worker housing. while many domestic & hospitality workers are bussed in from southwest dade county, some hotels are building dormatory style housing for their indentured servants employees.

where once individual property rights signaled the modern age, sometimes it seems we are headed right back to feudalism.
We are having the same issues here. *Park City is the Aspen of UT and is growing at a very rapid rate. *The people doing the building cannot afford to live there so they have to live many miles away and burn up lots of gas going up and down the mountains to get to work each day. *

Housing price increased are still nuts here. *The bubble was late getting here (like everything else) but is expanding at a >15% per year rate right now. *The bigger homes are selling fast. *It would appear that some of it is Calif. $$$ and some of it is just "moving on up" mentality. *Houses are popping up like mushrooms in some parts of the area and very few appear to be vacant for long. *Infrastructure is not keeping up so the roads are jammed and services are variable. *There has to be an end somewhere but it is not in sight yet. *
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-22-2006, 05:01 PM   #10
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
The working poor. It has always been a fact of life in 3rd world countries. It is now coming to America.
I don't the hard life that the working poor face ever left America. However, over the decades housing conditions have steadily improved at all rungs of the social ladder. Think about the shanty towns, shacks, and tenement housing of 1906 or 1856. If you disagree with the statement that housing conditions have steadily improved over time, then what year would you say we peaked in terms of housing conditions for everyone (or the poor)? And don't say "2000, it's Bush's fault!"

I think the example of 20 people sharing 300 square feet of living space is a very extreme example of the housing conditions facing the working poor.
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-22-2006, 06:14 PM   #11
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

Quote:
I think the example of 20 people sharing 300 square feet of living space is a very extreme example of the housing conditions facing the working poor.
20 people all making min. wage would be a lot of money.... Sounds more like a crack house....
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-22-2006, 06:17 PM   #12
 
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddy the Turbo Beagle
20 people all making min. wage would be a lot of money.... Sounds more like a crack house....
Typical extreme right wing response. - Most of the people were children.
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-22-2006, 06:38 PM   #13
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

Typical left wing response (me). We should have social workers interacting with these families to make them understand that producing 28 children and only 2 working adults is putting these children at a dsadvantage.

Condoms for free.
Brochures with birth control methods.
Educational (non-pornographic tapes).

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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-22-2006, 07:52 PM   #14
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

Quote:
There was just a story this week here in Minneapolis. There was a fire at a home where some people died. The Slumlord was renting out a space of about 15 x 20 to about 20 people. Women with children. They all worked but at minimum wage this was all they could afford. The space rented for about $500 a month. Broke every fire code on the books. This will become more common in the future.

The working poor. It has always been a fact of life in 3rd world countries. It is now coming to America.
looks like you got your stories crossed a bit C-T.*

http://www.kare11.com/news/news_arti...storyid=127523

Looks like the poor folks were just injured and a kid playing with matches started the fire. But I agree being poor is sad
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-22-2006, 08:35 PM   #15
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

Looks like 7 people (5 kids under age 6 and 2 adults) living in a 250 square foot unit. It sounds really bad if you compare it to 2 DINKs living in a 5000 square foot McMansion. But these folks probably had to live there to make ends meet. It probably wasn't a permanent solution for them either. Besides, the municipality has laws in place to restrict the number of occupants to 2 for a 250 sf unit. Just an example of poor enforcement. It's a sad situation. At least the kids were really small and could more easily fit into the small space. With double or triple bunk beds, it wouldn't be too hard to fit em in.

To put it in perspective though, I've heard of 6-7 aspiring actors/actresses sharing 250 sq ft studio apts in NYC because that was all they could afford. Heck, my dorm room suite in college had 8 grown guys in a space not much larger.

Back when I was helping my FIL with his slumlord rental units, me and my wife went into one bedrooms in a 2 bedroom unit that a Mexican family was renting. Well, out came a few kids from the bedroom as we went in. We started moving furniture and getting junk out of the tiny bedroom (less than 60 square feet probably). Then a couple more kids crawled out from the closet, from under the bed and from a dresser drawer. There were six kids living in this one bedroom! The tiniest apparently slept in the clothes drawer next to his siblings' clothes.

Apparently the kids were hiding because the family thought we were from the Raleigh Housing Authority (I'm white, and white folks don't just show up at your door in that part of town unless you've done something wrong). They thought we were inspecting their rental house and they had lied about how many kids they had.

They were very friendly though. By the way, I believe the zoning allowed the 8 people in the family to live there. The whole unit was at least 500-600 square feet.
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-23-2006, 09:00 AM   #16
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eridanus
That and GM buying trolley companies and running them out of business.
I wouldn't worry about it. GM bought up and built up some pretty big car businesses and they're running them out of business too

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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-23-2006, 11:48 AM   #17
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

This doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Maybe in urban areas -- I think that's been going on for a long time. But in my neighborhood (Martha, you're twin cities, right? I'm in the south suburbs) I don't think there's a single block that I wouldn't categorize as middle class for 10 miles in any direction. I think all of Bloomington, Richfield, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Lakeville, Rosemont, Eagan, Inver Grove Hights is middle class (except where it's commercial). Their statistic seems pretty strange to me -- "neighborhood income" between 80% and 120% of "local income." That's a tight band around a vague statistic.
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-25-2006, 08:13 AM   #18
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAgePensioner
Typical left wing response (me).* We should have social workers interacting with these families to make them understand that producing 28 children and only 2 working adults is putting these children at a dsadvantage.

Condoms for free.
Brochures with birth control methods.
Educational (non-pornographic tapes).
Forget non-pornographic and keep it entertaining.* Most of the porn tapes I've seen, while not exactly safe sex, the women would have a hard time getting pregnant.* * *
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-25-2006, 12:19 PM   #19
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

I was reading about Cincinnati- they have lost more population over the last 5 years than any other large or medium sized city in the US. Nearby suburbs, especially in KY have gained at the city’s expense.* Interviews with leavers cite 2 things- crime, and poor schooling for their children.

In the coming years, I see a conflict between the centrifugal force of "urban problems" pushing people out, and the centripetal force of commuting costs pushing them back. Should become very interesting politically.

Ha

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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.
Old 06-25-2006, 01:37 PM   #20
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Re: Loss of Middleclass Neighborhoods.

my open response to http://tinyurl.com/gmsd2

Single-family homes are out of reach for most

By Robin Benedick
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted June 25 2006

Say you earn $58,100 a year, the median income in Broward County. How realistic is it to expect to be able to buy a new single-family house here? The answer: Dream on.

That's because in Broward, a new 1,800-square-foot house without luxury upgrades costs almost $600,000 to build, those in the industry say. Typically, that would require an income of about $133,000 a year to afford, experts say, assuming a 20 percent down payment and a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 6.5 percent...Even resales of single-family homes are out of reach for three-quarters of Broward's households. With a median price of $360,600, they'd typically need to make $90,000 a year to buy such a home. Median means half cost more, half less.


blah blah blah

i'm so tired of these articles. when i bought this single family dump 13 years ago, i could not afford a medium priced house. since when did we become so spoiled. i saved for 10 years before i could buy the cheapest house in the best area i could afford. i took two years studying the areas & my finances before putting my money down. i wound up in a $68k shotgun cottage in a redevelopment area that i can sell today for between $4 & 500k.

who are these snots, just out of college, writing newspaper articles, who think they should be able to puchase a medium priced house in one of the most expensive markets of the country? how insulting to the hard work, time & investment of those of us who fixed this up & stuck it out. hey robin, benedick this.
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