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Shrink to Survive? Rust Belt City Downsizes

Cameray_IHB

New member
In an act of residential triage, Genesee County, which includes Flint, has been knocking down the city's vacant homes at an astounding rate -- often up to four a day.



Flint, a blue-collar city in the Rust Belt, was once home to several thriving General Motors plants that helped build a strong work force here. But as the automaker declined and cut tens of thousands of jobs, Flint residents started leaving too; the city's population has fallen to 115,000 from its peak of nearly 200,000 in the 1960s.



Dan Kildee, 51, a Flint native and now Genesee County treasurer has a plan to push his hometown out of a housing glut. Kildee proposed a radical idea: demolishing 6,000 abandoned homes in Flint. "We've lost 84,000 people. They didn't take their houses with them," he said.



Here's the rest of the story --



<a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Business/shrink-survive-rust-belt-city-bulldozes-vacant-homes/story?id=8936668">http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Business/shrink-survive-rust-belt-city-bulldozes-vacant-homes/story?id=8936668</a>
 

Nude_IHB

New member
I saw this piece... out of nowhere, and for no apparent reason, they cut in a snippet of Rush Limbaugh mocking the plan. Now, I know he's a controversial figure, but he's not from Flint, MI. He's never been to Flint, MI. He doesn't own any land in Flint, MI. Why does ABC News (or anyone else, for that matter) care what Rush Limbaugh has to say about it? Could they not find anyone who thinks it's a bad idea... someone from Flint, MI perhaps? I mean, really, what the hell has Nightline become?
 

Geotpf_IHB

New member
A lot of this depends on the condition of the houses. If they are falling apart, their value is probably less than the costs to repair them, so they will never be reoccupied legally (but homeless and drug addicts will take shelter)-so tearing them down for safety reasons makes sense. But if they are in good shape, it seems like a bad idea, especially if it merely to reduce the supply of houses and increase property values-that's anti-poor, IMHO, artificially increasing housing costs.



How is the city doing this, legally? I assume most are abandoned and have back unpaid taxes assessed against them, so the city can take them that way.
 

Nude_IHB

New member
[quote author="Geotpf" date=1256852065]A lot of this depends on the condition of the houses. If they are falling apart, their value is probably less than the costs to repair them, so they will never be reoccupied legally (but homeless and drug addicts will take shelter)-so tearing them down for safety reasons makes sense. But if they are in good shape, it seems like a bad idea, especially if it merely to reduce the supply of houses and increase property values-that's anti-poor, IMHO, artificially increasing housing costs.



How is the city doing this, legally? I assume most are abandoned and have back unpaid taxes assessed against them, so the city can take them that way.</blockquote>


Yes, they are uninhabited homes and abandoned property. They are wiping out vast tracts of houses, in once case leaving just one resident and their house on the entire block. This guy was asked how he felt about it and his response was that he thought it would help his property value. Now... does one house on the entire street justify winter snow plowing by the city? How about a fire station and a police patrol? Heck, will his street and sidewalks ever see maintenance again? When the assessor is openly and proactively trying to return the area to "wilderness", I'm thinking the answer is "no" and the resident's lone vote isn't going to overrule the majority living in more populated areas.



Live, from Flint Michigan, the Consequences of Wage Inflation, Currency Devaluation, and Intransigent Labor Representation are proud to present... Ghost Town 2009, The Musical!
 

Cameray_IHB

New member
[quote author="Nude" date=1256878972][quote author="Geotpf" date=1256852065]A lot of this depends on the condition of the houses. If they are falling apart, their value is probably less than the costs to repair them, so they will never be reoccupied legally (but homeless and drug addicts will take shelter)-so tearing them down for safety reasons makes sense. But if they are in good shape, it seems like a bad idea, especially if it merely to reduce the supply of houses and increase property values-that's anti-poor, IMHO, artificially increasing housing costs.



How is the city doing this, legally? I assume most are abandoned and have back unpaid taxes assessed against them, so the city can take them that way.</blockquote>


Yes, they are uninhabited homes and abandoned property. They are wiping out vast tracts of houses, in once case leaving just one resident and their house on the entire block. This guy was asked how he felt about it and his response was that he thought it would help his property value. <strong>Now... does one house on the entire street justify winter snow plowing by the city? How about a fire station and a police patrol? Heck, will his street and sidewalks ever see maintenance again? When the assessor is openly and proactively trying to return the area to "wilderness", I'm thinking the answer is "no" and the resident's lone vote isn't going to overrule the majority living in more populated areas.</strong>



Live, from Flint Michigan, the Consequences of Wage Inflation, Currency Devaluation, and Intransigent Labor Representation are proud to present... Ghost Town 2009, The Musical!</blockquote>


You've got a good point!
 
[quote author="Nude" date=1256878972]Live, from Flint Michigan, the Consequences of Wage Inflation, Currency Devaluation, and Intransigent Labor Representation are proud to present... Ghost Town 2009, The Musical!</blockquote>


It's currency overvaluation (which we've had for at least 25 years) which kills jobs. Currency devaluation is a great way to pump up your manufacturing economy and enthusiastically participated in by the Asian exporters.
 

Nude_IHB

New member
[quote author="FairEconomist" date=1256943011][quote author="Nude" date=1256878972]Live, from Flint Michigan, the Consequences of Wage Inflation, Currency Devaluation, and Intransigent Labor Representation are proud to present... Ghost Town 2009, The Musical!</blockquote>


It's currency overvaluation (which we've had for at least 25 years) which kills jobs. Currency devaluation is a great way to pump up your manufacturing economy and enthusiastically participated in by the Asian exporters.</blockquote>


True, and I am sorry I didn't make it more clear that I meant Foreign Currency Devaluation in that post.
 
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