So the controversy continues about the need for more affordable housing in Uptown [ Windy City Times Nov. 21, 2001 ] . When making decisions about adding more subsidized housing, Jill Khadduri from HUD states that most analysts follow the federal guideline that any neighborhood with 40% of its population living in poverty is a neighborhood with extremely high poverty. Concentrated poverty shrinks job opportunities, increases crime, and lowers children's test scores. Concentrated poverty leads to more generational poverty.
The proposed TIF area in Uptown already has 60% of its housing as subsidized. HUD's guidelines state subsidized housing should not exceed 30% or there will be detrimental effects on those living in poverty in that area. Queer to the Left wants more subsidized housing in Uptown? No one is liberating the poor when they are kept concentrated in one particular area. Didn't we learn that lesson with Cabrini Green?
It's also odd that Queer to the Left supports the business owner of Women & Children First Bookstore rather than the poor women and children in Uptown who could benefit with job opportunities that provide healthcare benefits with the placement of Border's Bookstore. The current number of Uptown employers who provide health benefits can be counted on one hand. The small mom-and-pop stores desired by Queer to the Left aren't able to provide the benefits and sick pay that those with low income should be getting.
It's time to look at the big picture for a change.
James Cappleman, LCSW
Clinical Social Worker living in Uptown