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.

3 thoughts on “City paper on Kelsey Gardens”

  1. This story was disturbing. There has got to be a way to make this neighborhood arrive w/out scheming people out of their homes. We’ve got to get creative.

  2. Eric,

    I do not agree with the scheming but I do agree with the redevelopment aspect of the property fight. Kelsey Gardens is okay, but would do MUCH better for the tenatns as a larger, more modern building (with additional apts for revenue). Crawford is an a$$hole, we can all agree with that…but you only have to look at the ongoing problems at “1330/Immaculate” and see that it is more than ownership that will change the way things are on 7th Street. As an owner living blocks from both, I have no problem with the tenants owning (actually I want that more), but they need to get rid of their grandchildren and other a$$holes who deal drugs and commit other crimes openly on 7th Street steps away from a rec center and school. I want to, in 3 years, feel safe walking from my house South and until the tenants crack down on the rampant drug dealing going on outside of Gibson and Immaculate (and just because the residents own it does not mean that the problem of crime has gone away).

    Get creative, hell I will help in any way that you or any other neighborhood activist asks…but we need to stop the bull that is going on in the neighborhood. We need to call on the cops and others to start helping in this…not hide in our houses and act like it is not happening. We outnumber the drug dealers…We outnumber KDP and the other gang bangers and the only way to stop them is by standing up.

    I have never wanted any of the long time residents out…I want the element that shoots and asks questions later out. I want the element that uses some of the smaller Section 8 housing projets as gang territory/drug dens out…and if developers have to come in and do it so be it. 99.9 percent of those living in Gibson/Immaculate/Kelsey are hardworking and honest, but most are too afraid of the .1 percent who will shoot them for standing up…that needs to stop.

  3. I’m with you on most of what you say here. 99% of us want the same thing from our neighborhood: Good neighbors, access to services, low crime, better schools, better looking surroundings etc. And yes, when we allow it, a tiny group is able to screw us out of all of that.

    But too often in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods, the easiest solution, from the point of the gentrifiers, is to sit by and wait for lower income folks to be pushed out. This slimeball Crawford was taking it a step further.

    Personally, I think that mixed income communities are the most stable.

    I know I’m not coming up with any big solutions here, but I wish that the dialogue would start from that baseline (In general I mean, not on this blog, because I think most of us agree).

    So how do we get what we want from gentrification without pushing out the responsible long-term residents? Tenant-ownership is an important first step. The rest doesn’t change overnight, but in other communities it has been observed to make changes over time.

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