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Friday, August 24, 2007

Move Forward and Move Out

Yesterday was this big Allied Task Force meeting where I was hoping to catch the unveiling of the newest proposed plan for what they will be doing with the buildings I live in. I have been trying to keep up with the development plans so that I can guage what my living plans will be, as I hate having to move under the gun, as do most poeple. Anyway, while waiting for the unveiling of these big plans, there was this circus that took place within the Task Force surrounding alders and Task Force members battling over resolutions calling for RFPs and master developer negotiations. One resolution was drafted by the alder that represents our district that called for the city to begin negotiations with CDA to be the master developer of the properties I live within. Some say that the CDA will gentrify the neighborhood and screen people out. Maybe the tactic of the city is to draw this whole thing out until residents get so tired of hearing about all these strategies and just let happen what was likely intended to happen from the very beginning, back in 1991. As it stands now, the voices fighting the fight are not those that will be directly affected by the development about to take place. The residents within my building and the other city buildings have household incomes that are three times the rent (Hauk property rents are between $490 and $715), which was the requirement prior to moving in, and I know for my household, we are not too concerned about getting put out if that is what happens. How can you get mad about getting put out of Allied Drive? That is like getting mad about buying a burrito from Taco Bell and accidently leaving it on the bus. So what? Life will go on, we'll get another place to live that will likely be better than where we are living now. That really goes for all residents. They talk about displacement and we are all holding onto our neighborhood like it is paved with gold. Give me a break! I have mold all over my apartment and who knows, maybe that is the reason I can't stop coughing. Whatever the case, if anyone wants to come down here to take my moldy apartment from me, be my guest. I will be more than happy to get steppin'! In the meanwhile, these arguments over who develops what and who gets to put their hands in the pot of money that is at the root of this revitalization plan is exhausting. There are so many overlapping interests that are unclear here and it is no wonder that the actual residents do not get involved. I have never seen any City property residents at a Task Force meeting. There was one motion that took place where it was pointed out that all the residents voted against it. The sad thing was that none of the residents were really residents of the properties being discussed. I've asked actual residents to come out and when I bring it up, they ask why? What is the point? I guess I see where they are coming from. I don't know who let all the dogs out, but I think we'll just let them fight it out and we'll come out when it is all over and see what is left.


Brenda Konkel said...

I'm Alder Brenda Konkel. I can assure you that the non-profit I work for, the Tenant Resource Center, does not have any interest in either developing or managing the Hauk properties. I have no idea where you got that information, but its completely absurd. We don't manage properties, we are an information and referral agency, we help with eviction prevention funds, we do mediations at eviction court and run the Housing Help Desk in addition our Williamson St. location where we answer questions about tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities and have information about finding a place to live.

Lina Trivedi said...

Hi Brenda - I apologize if my perceptions were inaccurate. From my recollection at the Task Force, Enis had mentioned that the mayor met with several developers for input on the properties, and your non-profit was one of them. Later when they were talking about negotiations with CDA, I recalled you questioning why the city can't negotiate with non-profits. I put two and two together and likely you were referring not to your own non-profit. I apologize for the inaccuracy and have edited my post to withdraw that implication on your part ... however I still think that there are a lot of interests in the redevelopment that are not completely transparent, and no one really will know the exact end result and the best preparation that residents can make is to really focus on their financial situation and look at how their income can be enhanced and verified if need be, and how credit issues can be addressed. Though we all know that we may be in a situation in 18 months where we may have to apply for a mortgage, how many of us have really ordered a copy of our credit report? We need to be serious about this and focus on the potential opportunities here. As you know, there are a lot of programs in Madison to help low income individuals become home-owners, and if we want to get there, we have to do our part. We can expect the city to meet us halfway, but we can't expect the city or anyone else to give without us putting any effort towards the fruit ourselves. You may or may not agree with me, and that is fine, but that is my two cents. :)

OldSkool Rosenberry said...

I went to the Task Force and we bring forth legitimate concerns and nothing is addressed and nothing is done about it. I saw a woman at the Task Force talk about a landlord on Allied Drive that is accepting sex from tenants in exchange for rent. I have heard the same thing from other residents and I hear this same complaints from all sorts of people in our community. They tell us as residents in the community to talk to the Task Force, and when we do, nothing gets done. I complained about bed bugs that my landlord is not doing anything about and nothing happened. I have been waiting for three months, and I have had to throw out all my furniture. Our whole building is infested. The landlord just comes in and flexes his muscle and talks to me like he knows me. Hey, every black person out here is not from Chicago. I am not knocking Chicago, I am from down South, we got different rules of engagement too. In Chicago they are used to landlords controlling people with fear and intimidation, but I am not from Chicago and your bullshit don’t work on me.

Lina Trivedi said...

Hi oldskool - I understand your frustrations - I live in the city properties and I am very fortunate that the city and my previous landlord, Hauk, is very responsive to issues regarding living conditions. I don't know if the Allied Task Force is really the venue to voice these particular concerns to and expect action. They have a set order of business and they basically report recommendations to city bodies regarding policies and potential actions within government. I don't think they can really talk to your landlord or anything like that. It's a hard situation, and in this economy we live in, I would say focus on your finances and take advantage of all the classes they have in this city on that topic - you will have a lot of power if your finances are such that you can just move if you do not like the way you are treated. Whatever your dream is, go find it and get it and achieve it. Don't let anyone tell you it can't happen - believe me, there are a lot of people around you that want you to think that you have no choice and you have no power.

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