One of the problems with government programs designed to upgrade the quality of residential buildings is that the actual upgrading will also increase the cost of the units.
The increased prices then become barriers to attracting people of moderate income who would help make up this diversified population.
Some people of moderat income already living here as homeowners might be encouraged to remain as long-time residence.
Rather than opening up these programs on a community wide basis, it seems that taking a district approach, which has be indicated here in Shorewood would help establish better objectives and goals.
This apporach would then help economically upgrade a small neighborhood unit. Market values may not encourage people of moderate incomes to occupy these units, however. The question of who gets subsized becomes a difficult one.
These areas might also be linked up with our business district improvement in some places.
If we are to maintain an economic diversity, the difference between the present values of a specific area and the upgraded values will have to be born by the community within the overall program.
Otherwise as Tim Fojtik says, that we might as well “just build the gates and be done with it.” That would mean that we can then say goodbye to economic diversity.
And it would still leave us with the problem of upgrading duplexes.
I believe that first of all we must think through the idea of diversity and what it means to us in Shorewood.
We might find that the declining condition of duplexes was part of the mistaken notion of investing in duplexes by non-homeowners from outside our community in anticipation of inflated prices.
Now with the declining conditions, these owners are not going to send good money after bad, although they may have to suffer some loss.
Therefore, we must do what is best for our community. And I believe those Shorewood citizens of modest income should have something to say about it or be represented in the decision-making.
We need to upgrade any housing stock that has undergone a decline in physical condition. This includes duplexes.
However, I don't believe that improved duplexes are going to imporve our diversity index and accommodate people of modest income.
This is a problem that needs some very careful thought and planning.