Poor People Suck

Homewood continues its vigorous negro removal urban renewal:

All that remain at Homewood Gardens are empty boxes, a discarded dresser and at least one straggler, Denton Scott.

Residents of the Oxmoor Road complex had until Saturday to vacate the nearly 60-year-old apartment building. Hallman Hill, with 177 condominiums, 17 town houses and 12,500 square feet of retail space, will replace the 120-unit Gardens, which through the years remained an affordable place for residents both young and old. . . .

BrassealeGreedy Councilman said Homewood Gardens has served a good purpose, but it was time to do something with the aging complex.

DobbinsWicked Developer said development of Homewood Gardens was overdue, and if Arlington Properties hadn’t done it, “someone else would have.”

“Homewood Gardens have really become a drain on downtown Homewood,” he said. “It was time to do something. Homewood Gardens is past its prime. They’re outdated, and the fact is, they’re just not in good shape.”

[The lone remaining tenant] has lived at the complex for only eight months, but he said others lived there for 20 years or longer. . . .

“I’m not worried for myself so much as I am for the others,” he said. “Some probably figured this would be their home forever. This was the perfect spot. It was near the grocery store. It was near everything. I could walk to work.”

One, the Gardens were in fine shape, or at least fine enough that they were fully occupied.

Two, they served a wonderful purpose. The Gardens were one of the very few places in the Metro area that are safe, clean, convenient, and affordable. They gave people who work hard at crappy jobs an opportunity to live in an area they could otherwise never afford. They were one of the few exceptions to the general rule that acess to good schools and safe streets depends on the level of income.

Three, the Gardens contributed to downtown. The city got the taxes, and the businesses got customers within walking distance. More than economically, though, they ensured that Homewood would consist of more than upper middle class SUV driving Republican Jesus loving straight white folks. Everyone benefits from daily interaction among different socio-economic classes.

Four, the apartments are also nice looking, and fit with the surrounding area. Contra monstrous monuments to self-indulgence like the replacement for the Gardens and its predecessor, SoHo

Sure if the City builds it the materialistic empty nesters will come and make the City wealthy. But Homewood is not lacking in cash, or restaurants, or housing for rich people. It is lacking in housing for people who work hard and make squat. Thanks to Wicked Developer and Greedy Councilman it now has more wealth and less poor people.

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4 Comments on “Poor People Suck”

  1. Kathy Says:

    And at some point the demand for ridiculously expensive housing has to level out. Developers live on the cash flow from their next project, and the successful ones are really good at convincing city officials that their development will be the salvation of the community. When a couple of these condo developments are sitting empty or at very low occupancy, the city officials will awaken from their trance and realize they’ve been had.

    Unfortunately, the people who need affordable housing will be long gone by then.

  2. wheeler Says:

    if i owned a condo in this town, i would be selling now. i’m no expert, but it sure looks to me like the market is about to be flooded.

  3. Susan Says:

    This story bugs me major. I drive through the area all the time and, if anything, I thought these apartments gave the neighborhood a down-to-earth feel and promoted the notion that practically anyone could afford to live in a nice (by which I mean pedestrian-friendly, community-oriented and relatively safe) neighborhood. No longer.

    What next? Will the Piggly Wiggly across the street be told to offer valet parking or move out?


  4. […] No way in you-know-where I’m ever living in Shelby County or Hoover. I refuse to spend more than fifteen minutes commuting to my job, so that (and other factors) eliminates Gardendale, Trussville, Leeds and PelHenaBaster. Vestavia? Probably not; it’s too hilly and car dependant. That leaves Mountain Brook, which I could never afford, or Homewood. We could probably afford Homewood, it’s close to my office, and though it has been in decline for the last few years, it still has some nice parts. But then I read stories like this: Homewood officials say they could have an Edgewood woman arrested and her yard cleared if she continues to ignore city laws on weeds and litter. […]


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