January 2017 Archives

Interview With A Vampire

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I was on social media the other day, and a local city councilman wrote about the SW Park and use of eminent domain. Some of his neighbors piped up against the use of eminent domain, and also against "more parks". 

One person wrote who we will call "KH", "For all those that was born and raised here. We have the same population and we had a few parks and everyone play in them. Now it's we need more and more parks. Mean while were is the affordable housing here. Does anyone care???????? 6 apartments don't cut it."

Her friend GR wrote, "I agree, no more parks we had and have enough of them. We do need affordable housing, but they only think about high class living. She ruined the town. All about greed !"

I was...intrigued. I wrote back, "Kathleen, I think the first question should be: "What is "in it" for the residents of Hoboken that do not "need" affordable housing to build more affordable housing?"

The housing market has been white hot for 20 years in Hoboken. There isn't a "need" 
to build affordable housing here, but there are lots of lands out there that are affordable housing, but might be underutilized.

Maybe if a plan could be developed to add more affordable housing, but also give back something to the rest of the community, that would be a good first step. I think [the city councilman] and I agree on that point."

GR: "There is definitely a need for affordable housing here in Hoboken and all the real Hoboken people can vouch for that. The sad part is that people of low to middle income are forced to move out of town. This town is now geared only to high income. Which is discriminating."

Me: "To me a big issue is how many people live in affordable housing, but can afford to live in "regular housing". I think we need to also ask "Who is living in affordable housing and do they NEED it?" 

Who does these checks for the people?"

GR: "There are some people who live in affordable housing that can afford regular housing, yes I know that, but that doesn't mean the town should not provide more affordable housing. Why should all people be affected for just a few . I specifically mean families with a few children who cannot afford to rent a 2 or 3 bedroom apt. These new apartments are just geared to renting to yuppies who apartment share - very unfair to families."

Me: "Someone has to pay for all of this. I just think as much as you want to see it happen, I don't see the majority of homeowners and taxpayers asking to create affordable housing."

GR: "That's because the majority of people in this town are yuppies now. They don't even realize they are being ripped off big time here."

Me: "Ripped off how? Do you expect them to move somewhere else?"

GR: "Hoboken homes selling for millions of dollars !! RIP OFF !! that's because these out of towners don't know any better. They can buy a mansion with acres of land for the amount of money they spend here on a house or a condo."

Me: "Yeah, but what you don't realize is the old mentality of moving to the suburbs and having children is the mentality of the Baby Boomer generation. The Generation X and Milennials want a city that they can take public transportation to work, walk to the local restaurant or bar.

I moved here 22 years ago and that's why I live here today, and own a condo. I have no interest in living in the suburbs and dying a slow death of boredom. The city is exciting, plus i'm 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan, my commute to work is a snap.

If I move to the suburbs and work in Manhattan, who wants to ride a train for 90 minutes to get to work?

There have been multiple articles on it, but to put simply people like living in cities more than they like living in the suburbs now. Crime is much lower than it used to be 30-40 years ago when people were fleeing the cities for the safety of the suburbs."

GR: "First of all, just to let you know I am Hoboken born and raised ( 50 years ) and still live here and I would never want to move out of Hoboken and so is my entire family. I am a city girl and could never live in the suburbs, it is too dead and boring for me. I know the conveniences of this town with the commuting. As far as shopping goes, it stinks . There are no good stores to buy anything anymore. And as far as crime, you are wrong. There is still alot of crime here in town, it is just that they keep it a secret and hide it from the papers and the news. I have police family and friends and we know exactly all the crime that happens here, but the mayor doesn't want that bad news to get out and ruin the reputation of Hoboken."

Me: "Lets be real. Where is the majority of the violent crime happening

Now, lets talk about how you want to build more affordable housing."

What is amazing to me is how there is a "the government owes us" mentality after living in Hudson County for the last 22 years. It isn't about working hard, saving money. It is someone holding out their hand for something. Amazing. People don't get it - and they blame "yuppies" and "greedy developers". 

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