I just saw a YoChicago video about the tour of a west side neighborhood called The Island. A neighborhood that is somewhat of a rarity on the west side of Chicago. Well I hate to say that but the west side of town is considered a very rough area. I'm sure there are pockets of stability on the west side but areas like The Island will get swamped by the rough areas.
Anyway after checking out that video I decided to check out something. I recall that several months ago YoChicago had posted our friend artistmac's video about his day trip to the Austin neighborhood to shop at their Wal-Mart. In doing a search for that post another post came up.
Artistmac had posted this video in response to the last part of an interview with an architect involved with the Chicago Housing Authority. Basically it was a video about the destruction of the last of the Robert Taylor Homes housing projects. To be fair artistmac stretched this out for months you can see a more complete video about this here.
This is what I really wanted to talk about. The comments to the YoChicago vid. Artistmac and the good people at YoChicago had a nice discussion about public housing. I suppose one could say that some of my biases came out in these comments.
A story about a woman not knowing how to care for carpet attempts to mop carpet. YoChicago talks about an Appalachian man who's toilet filled up because he didn't realize that toilets flush (that may not be a public housing resident to be fair). Then here's the main thing I want to discuss.
Another comment mentioned the idea of a neighborhood of middle income residents and welfare recipients living side-by-side. Artistmac declared that it won't work. To clarify a lot of these new CHA developments being built in those areas around the city where CHA high rises are being torn down are referred to as mixed-income developments.
A term came up in talking about mixed-income developments, properly managed. That's obviously something artistmac disagreed with in comments. Pointed to an example of a development (The Rosenwald) in his ward that was mismanaged by the CHA (you will see it in an artistmac video that I posted on this blog in January). Still the question could be begged as to what this means, properly managed? What does that entail?
Anyway something to consider as changes are abound around the city of Chicago. If we have to move the lower income people out of public housing where are they going to go and might they be coming back when the transformation is complete. Indeed the next question is what will they do when they don't get housing at a CHA development. Though I must say i'm happy that these high rises are no more, they've served their purpose no matter how dubious.