Saturday, September 09, 2006

Michael Powell and Michelle García of the Washington Post have written an insightful article on corporate greed, poor Federal, state, and local housing policy, and dysfunctional Federal, state and local government in their recent article, "After Attacks Changed the World, The Recovery Changed a City Near Ground Zero".

The article highlights the fact that "the scar that is the 16-acre hole is still there, a monument to political paralysis. But a forest of blue condominium towers rises, Hermes and Tiffany are opening shops downtown, Goldman Sachs is throwing up a 43-story office tower, and those Viking-stoved, Jacuzzi-ed lofts still attract high-roller bid-a-thons."

They also highlight "more than 5,800 apartments have been built in Lower Manhattan since 2001, and the median residential sales price has jumped 75 percent. Big corporations -- the Bank of New York, Goldman and Moody's Investors Service -- are building millions of square feet of new office space."

Post-2001 New York has not been terribly kind to the $51,000-median-family-income New Yorker. In the first months, city and state officials held "listening sessions," and there was talk of parks and affordable housing. Plans for parks remain, but it would take a microscope to find affordable housing in downtown Manhattan. Out of $2 billion in federal aid expended at in the neighborhoods around Ground Zero, officials have created 77 units of subsidized housing.

By contrast, bonds issued for redevelopment went to 13 new luxury residential buildings with 4,468 market-rate units, including one that was in the works before the attacks. The state also handed out $539 million in business-recovery grants. Hundreds of millions went to large corporations. Exactly $62 million went to owners of small shops and food stores.

African American Political Pundit says: The Washington Post article highlights the New York and New Orleans recovery efforts have a lot in common. On the positive side, a great city with loving, caring people. On the negative side, corporate greed, poor Federal, state and local housing policy, and dysfunctional Federal, state and local governments.

But I guess it is just another Mirror on America.


1 comment:

Brian said...


Nice post. Government bureacracy, greed, and politics can ruin anything. This project has been changed a million times and almost fell through several times as well.

It was kind of disturbing watching all the corporate sharks fighting over the commercial redevelopment of what is essentially a sacred graveyard.

The families, the memories of the deceased, etc...seemed to have been given a back seat.