Affordable environments?

Okay we debate about affordable housing but what of areas/ neighborhood that are affordable to live in. Not just a house to cover one’s head but ability to shop at local shops, find usable services close in and not have other costly burdens that come with living in a particular neighborhood (HOA dues, parking fees, etc). That was part of the idea I had when reading in Sunday’s Post about the tax assessments for businesses in gentrifying neighborhoods like Shaw. The other part was wondering what does New York City, land o’ expensive property, do as they have lots of indy stores.
What makes a neighborhood workable, in my view, is not just the house one lives in and its adjoining houses but the amenities. The poor and the working class do eat out (carryouts), use day care and buy clothes and housewares, and there are business that cater to them. What do the poor and working class do when the Dollar Store and the daycare are priced out of their neighborhood due to rising tax rates? Of course part of me (my inner libertarian?) is asking ‘really is it society’s job to make sure there are businesses to serve the poor?’ My inner Republican is yelling “tax cuts!”
Of course there are businesses that cater to and take advantage of the poor and working classes and I’d like to see them gone. I’m thinking check cashing places. My best friend from high school used to work in a check cashing place. When visiting her I’d hang out with her at work and watch her check the checks and the person cashing the check. Nothing evil was going on, but the thing that bugged me were the fees & charges for cashing a paycheck.
How do you keep the good businesses and let the bad pass away?

6 thoughts on “Affordable environments?”

  1. Gotta defend the check cashing joints a little. Fees are high mainly because that is their primary source of income. Unlike banks where you have interest from loans and deposits that you can invest check cashing places basically have just the fees with which to make money. Gotta pay rent and salaries some how. Plus, they have to cover the cost of bad checks that they pay out on.

    There was a facinating article about check cashing joints in Reason a few years ago that looked at the economics of check cashing stores.

    {Just found it. Located here}

  2. When people ask me about Shaw I tell them there is a personal training studio opening up next to the Dollar store. I don’t think a busineses have a responsability to cater to a particular market. They just need to make money. The government has a responsability to make sure that people can make money in a way that helps or at least doesn’t hurt the city.

  3. in theory if there are new residents, then there are new customers. But of course the new residents may not have the same taste as the old, and go somewhere else. So does the business need to change to cater the new people, or just sell themselves as they are to the new people?

    But also, business, being business, is tough. You often need to grow to succeed. Of course a place like Ben’s is successful because, in part, it is so unique. They risk losing customers if they try to change to handle increased customers, but may need to in order to increase revenue.

  4. I look around and see all the new construction and read about how everyone’s assessments are going up and no one is questioning what the city is doing with the money! This is really a tax increase that the mayor and city council never have to vote on! We really should insist that if the overall assessments go up XX%, the property tax should be cut by a similar amount. Then if the mayor and council want to raise taxes it will be out in the open and they can tell us what they are going to use it for.

    The Homestead deduction is nice and the 12% cap on taxes is helpful but still, my income is not going up 12% a year! There should be similar limits set on small businesses in order to encourage them to thrive.

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