Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Fragile Black Middle Class...

An interesting subject that I've touched upon a few times on this blog. These are issues that haven't really been studied in academia or else where. Also it doesn't matter how much money you may have, the color of you skin may just cause an issue for someone. We could be talking about whites or other blacks. So this series by the Sun-Times attracted me with its first story.

It involved homeownership. In the Englewood neighborhood there are plans to build new homes and turn those residents from renters into owners. A tough task but the idea is to give these individuals job training and get them started in jobs at over $10 an hour. A tough sell in my opinion however it might just mean that Englewood might return to it's earlier glory. It was once a very good neighborhood until blight set in and it gained it's reputation for its many murders.

Anyway with ownership wealth is a major project for the Rebirth of Englewood Redevelopment Corporation. And this is an issue not just for the residents of Englewood but perhaps blacks around the country. So this first article in the series caught my eye.

A black individual or a married couple can own them a home in a very nice black community such as (stated in the article) Avalon Park. But the value of this home would be far less than Portage Park on the northwest side of town. The perception used is that there is more crime in Avalon Park (or that's the perception) than in Portage Park which in actuality has twice as many reported crimes as Avalon Park. Still a home in Portage Park will be worth $308,000 vs Avalon Park's $136,000. Apparently racial makeup can make a difference, but the question is should it.

Another issue that crops up in redevelopment in many of the surrounding neighborhoods. For instance they sighted a young man moving into the Woodlawn neighborhood. The idea there is to turn that neighborhood will turn around and it may prove to be an investment. Which is why I get the feeling yuppies will start buying property in Englewood and squeeze out those other residents. Of course I can be wrong.

It's too bad this post will probably take more than one. I want to talk about part two of this series later.

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