Opinion: HUD Stomps the Poor, Larry Bush twiddles thumbs
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development just awarded $507 million to 22 housing authorities across the country. The 1998 HOPE 6 Revitalization grants fund the demolition of 10,383 public housing units. The grants will build 4,010 replacement units. The permanent loss to the nation's public housing stock? 6,373 units, or 62% of the units on this year's chopping block.
In 1992, President Clinton announced that his "reinvented" HUD would tear down 100,000 public housing units. Six years later, Clinton has almost reached his goal. Unfortunately for the people kicked out of the units, Clinton is not replacing very many of their squashed homes. Displaced poor families everywhere are typically being forced to seek housing far from their home communities, as the country reverts to pre-World War Two tenement-type slums in suburban ghettos.
In a few years, the feds will reinvent HUD for the umpteenth time and decide to build thousands of substandard public housing apartments, once again, to replace the slums they just recreated from the torn-down public housing originally built to replace more ancient slums. Its a vicious circle driven by the government's horrible property management practices; whereby perfectly fine buildings are allowed to rot (through "deferred maintenance") so that contractors and land speculators can more quickly profit from the boom-bust building cycles promoted and funded by our taxes and promulgated under the cover of "eradicating blight."
In San Francisco these tasks are assigned to the notoriously ill-managed Housing Authority which is a dumping ground for fools that even our half-blind Mayor can not bear to see loitering in the City's halls. So he tosses them over to 440 Turk Street which is a three-ring circus run by idiots, dope dealers, rapists, embezzlers and uncle toms.
SFI has a suggestion to HUD, for those who might be interested in reform: Cap all housing authority administrative expenses at 5 percent of the total budget, instead of the 17-25 percent currently being sluiced into the inept pockets of local political hacks.
Of course, that will never happen so San Franciscans can get ready to erect a Museum of Public Housing since, within a decade or less, the prime acreage squatting under our ratty projects - housing 20,000 people - will be completely thrown into the speculative sector, even as the tenants are figuratively thrown out of San Francisco.
Exposing Larry Bush, finally
The racist modern Diaspora taking place in San Francisco is being methodically engineered by so-called "liberals," like our corporativist Mayor. On a regional level, however, the carnage from Arizona to Hawaii is being cheerfully overseen by HUD's oh-so-politically-correct-and-not-so-secretly-corrupt regional poohba, Art Agnos. Agnos and his house-sized henchman, Larry Bush "a former gossip columnist," spend their days playing spin-the-bottle in a plush office suite at 450 Golden Gate as public housing is literally exploded and their real-estate buddies make killings. Agnos and Bush cohorts include John Stewart, John Elberling, Brad Paul, L.P. Lewis, Walter Wong, and Angelo Tsakopoulos.
Bush, a curious character of Emperor Norton-type importance, but not as nice, is a sanctimonious groupie who fawns over Ethics Commission officials even as he steers them away from stepping on the friends of Art & Larry & Willie, too. Homeowner Bush pats himself grandly on the knee for being a white knight roaming the moral high road even as he and his avatar, Art Agnos, are paid blood-money for doing the three monkey posture: hear no, see no, smell no EVIL.
At the same time, politically round-heeled Bush is a favorite "highly placed government source" for lazy reporters.
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