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Old 06-19-2014, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,447 posts, read 11,948,134 times
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I understand the idea behind subsidized housing in general. Any city is going to have lower-wage service positions. Without some form of subsidy, said lower-wage workers may be forced into horrible housing conditions, such as homelessness, living in unsafe apartments, or being forced into very long commutes.

The logic, however, doesn't seem like it holds up for subsidized senior apartments. This is because seniors generally speaking do not work, and thus have no particular need to stay in a high cost city. Senior housing can be anywhere in the country. But being in these subsidized units are in a high cost metro, the seniors take up units, often prime units in the core, which could go to working-age tenants, this results in a bad ratio of jobs to available units, and drives up housing prices.

Since many seniors do not drive, I understand why cities would want to place the apartments in walkable areas. But wouldn't some sort of national exchange system be better? Say have the New York Housing Authority pay a lower-cost walkable city to build the housing (which can surely be done cheaper) and the offer the apartments to seniors along with round-trip train tickets a few times a year?

Note: I don't 100% support this argument, I'm just throwing it out there to see the opinions of others.

Last edited by eschaton; 06-19-2014 at 09:38 AM..
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:58 AM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,574,087 times
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A lot of those seniors are still "active seniors," who are retired but still mobile and participate in the community, so they are still economic actors--they're spending their children's inheritance! They spend money in their own community. What really destroyed downtowns was a lack of residents spending money at small businesses (and large ones) downtown--even if it's not a lot of money, the action of a large number of small transactions adds up to a big chunk of change, especially if the folks in question don't drive so they can't as easily spend money in other parts of the city.

And for the older seniors who are no longer active, their facilities are more than just housing, they are also care facilities with staff. So they are also employment centers, representing some of those central city jobs that you're talking about. And if care facilities located in city centers, they will be out in the suburbs, in lower transit access areas where those low-paid workers will have to drive to work.
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:27 AM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,863,448 times
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Jobs are not just located in the core of an city and this frankly sounds like push the grannies out so that us young ones can have more dense, hip, urban neighborhoods. Also not all seniors need subsidized housing. In the case of New York, they have rent control which limits how much you can raise the rent by on current tenants. This means that an older person who has been in the same building for years isn't paying as dearly as someone who just moved in. Older people also may not be supporting children and thus have more disposable income to spend on rent than younger. However having seniors in subsided housing just goes into the category of providing for less able members of society and any functioning city has enough space to support them as well as others.
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:25 PM
 
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Grannies like dense, hip urban neighborhoods too!
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,403 posts, read 59,899,964 times
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You mean like a leper colony for old people? Brilliant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Grannies like dense, hip urban neighborhoods too!
Damn straight.
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:08 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,020 posts, read 102,674,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Grannies like dense, hip urban neighborhoods too!
Well, true, but. . . Most seniors "retire in place", no matter what the fluff articles in the Sunday papers say. Whatever happened to the idea of "diverse" housing?
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:27 PM
 
3,269 posts, read 3,009,733 times
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The argument put forth in the original post boils down to that subsidizing housing in high cost cities creates negative effects for the rest of society. However, the same thing is true for low-income working-age adults -- the low-wage work doesn't really hold water, some of it that adds the least value just wouldn't be done and some would pay a bit more to incentivize commuters from further away, and that group uses a lot more resources, commits a lot more crime, etc. than subsidized senior citizens.

Of course, both groups benefit personally from that housing being available. I can see supporting both, I can see supporting neither, but supporting working-age subsidized housing but not senior citizen doesn't make a terrible degree of sense.

New York providing vouchers to cheaper housing elsewhere to current public housing occupants and subsidy recipients is a very popular idea with local conservatives; not so popular with local liberals who count on those votes, the people in the subsidized housing (who are afraid vouchers would become mandatory - which is to be fair what conservative proponents would want most), and anywhere that would potentially be that 'elsewhere.'
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:25 AM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,574,087 times
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Low-cost cities are often only low-cost because of other forms of subsidies or other economic externalities. And not every city is New York, so the economic circumstances of New York shouldn't necessarily drive policy in other cities. Its west coast equivalent is San Francisco, often described as "49 miles surrounded by reality."
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Old 06-20-2014, 03:41 PM
 
5,707 posts, read 8,773,655 times
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Most of the seniors will have family and support systems nearby. So you might theoretically save some money on rent but the seniors could need a lot more services they are now getting from family. Besides the cost issues, the seniors could have a much lower quality of life.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
1,140 posts, read 2,881,371 times
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I'm against any kind of government (ie Taxpayer) funded housing. The way it's supposed to work is that seniors should have enough money from savings to retire comfortably while living in a home that's already paid for, if they so choose..otherwise, they should relocate to a lower COL area like many other seniors have done. Unfortunately having low rent is not a right.
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