Thursday, April 12, 2007

More interesting dialog than I could get started on Style's cover story, here. The article explores that thing that bothers me: where are the working poor going? The family two doors down is gone, and some dude with a Grateful Dead sticker on his pickup is proudly flipping the place. A family that shouts at the kids will be replaced by . . . boring bank execs? High-end college-age renters who will still throw loud parties? The house one south of the flipee is occupied by a woman who babysits and a man who wears painter's pants and bikes off to work. How much longer will they be able to afford our neighborhood, where suddenly the houses are "worth" over $200,000 -- and almost none have central a/c? The babysitter and painter(?), and F. and his family, aren't particular friends, but they're fine neighbors (well maybe the former pair more than the latter, who were noisy). They should have a decent place to live.

Authors Scott Bass and Chris Dovi don't focus only on the poorest Richmonders; they mention, too, that
the rising property values aren’t discriminating these days. It’s not only pushing out the poorest residents, it’s also pushing out young professionals, schoolteachers, policemen and other workers who once called Richmond home.

I feel certain that a city that can house the CVS clerks, painters, janitors, schoolteachers, police officers, non-profit agency employees, AND CapOne execs (in their freakin SUVs, going to that freakin new Starbucks and making traffic insane on that block of Robinson St.) would be better than a city full of rich+ people.


sheree said...

Whaddaya mean the shouting family is gone? Are these the folks who were 2 doors South of you, always sitting on their stoop?

Lisa said...

Yes, the family two doors south. The woman who babysits often sits on her porch, too. Word on the street was that the husband and wife split. The house was sold by auction, for a surprising amount (which I no longer remember) considering the rough condition.

Georgi said...

I haven't been around your blog for a while and thought I would check in via the internet today. Funny that you were writing about this just a few days ago. I'm actually house-hunting as we speak. Can you believe it?! I want to stay in the city, close to work and my favorite places. The prices of homes are off the chart, though. I just got back from looking at a bi-level on the Northside (in a not so fabulous neighborhood) for $120,000.00. It used to be apartments that they've renovated. I've also been looking at some places in Church Hill. I can't believe I'm priced out of there. There are several row houses for sale that I'm in love with but I'm pondering spending $214,000 on a place. I appreciate that there are folks that want to move to the city but who the hell can actually afford to pay crazy prices for property?! Certainly not me. I love my job, but being a social worker pays shit and it is hard to find a place of my own that is affordable. And I'm tired of freaking Starbucks - when did Richmond sell out? And it sucks to fight for parking at my vet because they've thrown up another one next door. *grunts* Sorry...that is my rant today. =) But I think I'm getting closer to settling on something. Hopefully something affordable. How about a $260,000 condo that is blocking my view of the city? Any takers?

Lisa said...

GA - Eeek, house-hunting. Good luck. It doesn't feel like there's any place in the city for average folk.