City paper on Kelsey Gardens

The City Paper’s cover story this week covers the housing situation over at Kelsey Gardens (1500 block of 7th ST NW).
When I picked up the paper I was hoping for a happy story about actually helping people get off Section 8 and moving into homeownership or something better. Nope. It’s about a representative trying to use every trick and scare tatic to get people out of their homes so the land upon which Kelsey Gardens sits can get developed into a shiny high tax revenue stream. Yes, I know kicking out the poor people would do a lot to kick start development along 7th Street, but at what cost?
The church that owns the property seems to have no qualms about kicking residents to the curb. It is an investment and not a charitable mission. The only way to reap the goodies of the investment is to get rid of the residents. It would be nice if they made it part of their charitable mission to secure residents equitable housing in the city, or if there are school aged children, housing in Shaw.
The article was very informative in helping figure out what was the deal with 1330 7th St.

Our Economic Stats

Fooling around on the US Census site I found data on Truxton Circle, aka Census Tract 46.
I think one of the tools we need in judging what kind of businesses the neighborhood can and will support is data on what kind of neighborhood we are. The problem with the census is that it occurs every 10 years. Truxton was a different place back in 2000 and the census does not reflect 2005, but the 2000 data is all we have, so suck it up.
I’m looking at the demographic highlights and this is where I can find economic and housing info. There are 1,347 housing units, of those 1081 are occupied, with 45.7% owner occupied and 54.3% renter occupied. Quoting housing prices may not mean as much because a little over 1/2 the housing are rentals. The median income in our area is $33,142, per capita income is $16,452, with 18% of families under the poverty level and 24% of individuals under the poverty level.
The income levels mean very little until you can compare them with other areas. The median income for the whole city is $40,127. But compared to Logan Circle, Census Tract 50, with a median household income $33,257, we’re not that bad. Yet our per capita income of $16K sits well below Logan’s $26K.
I could try to play with the Census data a bit more, but it tells me something I already know. We are not as rich as we think we are.