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What Our Policies Get Us

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As the day of reckoning nears for the Cabrini Rowhouses, new insightful writings are beginning to amass. Here's one from Lawrence Vale, posted on the blog Places, that argues the exclusionary policies (via strict tenant screening) of the CHA in the late 40s and 50s have returned in the Plan for Transformation. The time in between was marked by permissiveness, allowing for concentrated welfare housing for the poorest of the poor. That that spawned problems is an big understatement, but the failure to replace housing for the poorest at Cabrini and elsewhere, Vale stresses, coupled with tough screening for re-entry to the neighborhood's limited public housing units, means those most in need simply aren't getting off the waiting list. Another wrinkle: Even with the minimal public housing allotments at new developments like Parkside of Old Town, most buyers don't care to pay market rate for a condo next to a public housing unit. Until they do en mass, enriched tax rolls remain a fantasy. How that sorts itself out is yet to be seen. [Places]