In New Orleans, for instance, 35 percent of renters dedicate more than half of their pay to housing, the second highest share for the cities studied. Many people working in tourism and hospitality, a major industry for the area, might have low-paying jobs that make it harder for them to afford the median rent bill of $900, Boyd says.Last week we talked a little bit about the fallacious attempt by high-end developers to blame this on "NIMBYism." As in, the rent is too high because you won't let us build more high rent housing. This is a preposterous lie for numerous reasons. At its heart, though, is an implication that once a piece of land becomes profitable for an investor, then the poor people living on it are obligated to move out of the way. You could call it a sort of eminent domain of capitalism.
But it's also an eminent domain of government working hand in hand with developers. This is where Dambala picks up with the first in what he's calling a "Neighborhood Journey" exploration of New Orleans neighborhoods threatened by gentrification. In this case he's talking about the Algiers waterfront where Mitch Landrieu and Nadine Ramsey seem to believe a "hot real estate market" absolutely dictates the conversion of common green space into high rise condos.
What was really fascinating, in respect to the city budget meeting, was the Mayor's response to the batture zoning issue.Public park = "I gots mine nobody else can have theirs." So make way for tall buildings full of nice things for rich people. They gots to have theirs and there's nothing you can do about it.
Landrieu informed the Algiers residents that New Orleans is the hottest real estate market in the country and that waterfront property in every city is considered prime real estate. As for height restrictions he says you can either have long, skinny buildings along the river where "no one can see anything" or you can have tall buildings (I suppose suggesting that these tall, skinny building are somehow less of a hindrance to viewing the river).
He then went on to break the bad news to the Pointers (Algiers) about "what's not going to happen". The residents of the Point were not going to be able to say "I gots mine and nobody else can have theirs"...essentially confirming their worst fears about what probably "is going to happen" regarding development plans for the batture.
Interesting he would frame it that way. Right now the batture is green space that everyone can share. The Mayor's logic seems to be that the residents of Algiers Point are being selfish for wanting to keep sharing it that way.