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February 17, 2017


Except Canutillo ISD objects to 48 units of low income housing being built in Vinton because they don't want "those people" in their school district. Guess they think poor people had stupid kids and it affects their standardized test scores.

No one cares about the residents - they only care about the whore house and the Chinese laundry down there. Somehow those are historical.

RIP Eddie Holguin.

You're forgetting about the Blue Flame Building, which is going to have 90 (??) apartments for low income people, the HUD project. That is totally in city center as is Artspace, which is also low income subsidized. Artspace is a project by city "elites" so some of our leaders (not political leaders) do care about poor people.

Heard that the Artspace is having trouble getting residents qualified for public housing. Guess the starving artists make too much money or are still on mom and dad's tax returns as dependents.

I heard the same thing. I think they might now be taking applicants who aren't artists. Wonder what happened to all those surveys that said there thousands of potential residents? I think that survey was done by the company contracted to put the project together. Figures, huh?

A HACEP project downtown signals the de-hipsterization of DTEP. As for the poor, there are different ways to be poor. You can have an MFA degree from Yale hanging on your Artspace studio apartment and still live below the poverty line but be counted in the coffee house and brewpub culture as a resident.

Or, you get up at 5AM and drive your pickup truck to your first customer of the day, like much of the El Paso workforce.

Only one of these jobs has a future because the MFA will eventually realize that he will never amount to anything in the art world, much less be able to afford a home.

He'll run for political office and vote for big bond issues.

Hey Jerry K, how true:
"As for the poor, there are different ways to be poor. You can have an MFA degree from Yale hanging on your Artspace studio apartment and still live below the poverty line but be counted in the coffee house and brewpub culture as a resident."

As I have said once before. Downtown is simply "flip this house" on a grand scale being subsidized by the taxpayer. It doesn't even matter if people eventually move into the area or not. Investors have purchased all the real estate, the tax payers will fix it up for them, and then they will sell for profit and move on. In the end, you will have newly remodeled empty buildings just like you had before.

Does anyone here know the details of the distinctions between different types of "affordable" housing? For example, the newly opened Savoy Building downtown is designated as "affordable" but residents can make up to $42,000 a year. Not enough to make you rich, but hardly what I'd call poor, especially in El Paso. I'd say many, if not most, 20-something professionals in the city would qualify.

If that's the kind of affordable housing being proposed for the Blue Flame, I'm not worried at all. On the other hand, if it's a true housing project, then I think it's a bad sign for downtown.

Alfredo. The calculation is based on Area Median Income or AMI. And that is household AMI. A project is eligible for tax credit financing if its average tenant is at or below 80% AMI. For low income projects it is 60% AMI.
The financing usually has some kind of audit requirement to prove compliance.

At least it used to be back when I ran the HFC and our bonds financed some of these deals. It is not much income here, but in a place like Dallas it can allow a yuppie to have his own pied de terre.

Cichon said Blue Flame will accept vouchers and it is not public housing.

Poor or not. The more people that live downtown, the more it will thrive. And I have not seen any "flipping" going on downtown. However, if it does happen, that means the remodel project was a success. Downtown is the only thing that might pull this city out of its rut.


NOT. Downtown is an effect wothout a cause financed by borrowed money that hard pressed taxpayers are on the hook to pay back. A cause would be an educated workforce and businesses that hire them.

Unless you think slinging hotdogs will do that.

There is a reason why people moved out of downtown in the first place. A new coat of paint and some fancy big box stores isn't going to change that. Sure, people will go downtown and party but there will not be any significant change in the type or population of residence. Over time, downtown will slowly go back to the way it was before.

Thanks for clarifying about the income requirements.

But I've gotta disagree with the last two comments. I agree that a better educated workforce would be a great thing for El Paso, but it's a chicken-and-egg problem. How is our city going to attract better educated people when our downtown is a national level embarrassment? I'll admit that's not as true now as it was five or ten years ago, but downtown still isn't going to impress many people who weren't here to see how it used to be.

So rather than seeing downtown as an effect without a cause, it's more of a cause that will hopefully bring an effect. Will it work? Who knows. The one thing I do know is that if we had let our downtown descend further into becoming the third world garbage heap it was, that wouldn't have worked either.

People - El Paso is a small to medium size business community. Other than government agencies that employ thousands there is nothing here for the educated. Engineers & architects can't get enough work from the public agencies to hire more than the minimum staff. We all know the school districts, county and city love out of town design firms because they believe the locals are too stupid to design something innovative. There is no high tech industry here per se and what is here operates on a contract only basis - not permanent hires. We just don't have enough corporate headquarters, and large private employers to attract the educated. As has been mentioned before - the "leaders" in the 60's, 70's and 80's screwed this town up royally with their greed and insider dealing to keep out legitimate businesses and people with new ideas and ways of doing things.

Alfredo. The old adage "Build it and they will come" only works in the movies.

We cannot attract good paying jobs for educated people by rebuilding downtown. That's top down economics and it smacks of "Trickle down economics".

What we need is grass roots building from the ground up. If we want our future to look brighter, we should be investing in the education of our children. Create professionals who will make money and invest it in El Paso. Not building that only line the pockets of those who are already rich.

Human nature has proven that those who were poor that become rich are more likely to be generous with their riches than those who are born rich and only get more rich.

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