Sibling Rivalry & Slumlording All In One

I’ve been debating about if I should post this bit of family business on the blog. Everyso often I might mention my sister and my nieces, one of whom is my blog icon. But so I’m not explaining the story over and over, as I have forgotten who I’ve told and when and how much, I’m going to try here.

Shaw has a fair amount of subsidized housing, it is the thing that keeps the neighborhood economically diverse, which is good. However, I don’t believe subsidized housing is a good long term solution for individual families. At least not my family. It’s fine for seniors, as we do need to care for our elderly, but for young families with developing children, no. Not long term. My sister and her husband and her daughters (my nieces) live in subsidized housing in Florida, and finally G-d has provided the means for me to get them out of there.
My sister’s family live in a run down apartment complex. Earlier this year the local paper announced that the conditions were so bad that HUD was going to revoke federal funding for that and another complex. From my own visits I observed poorly maintained parking lots with tons of pot holes, and a blue tarp covering the roof that had been there for a while.
Also going on is the Real Estate troubles which have hit Florida really hard. Poking around on-line I discovered a house near my mother’s house for $7,500. Yes, $7,500 for a stick structure and a little plot of land. But the stick structure needed lots of work and in inquiring about it I hooked up with a Realtor. Bob, the Realtor worked with my Mom and my sister and found us a foreclosure that was clean and in almost move in condition for well under $40K. However, I’ve had to destroy all my savings and investments to make it happen. So there is some good in the foreclosure crisis.
So once I get some minor repairs done (some leaks, a hole in the wall, etc), figure out how to hook up the utilities, and get her to sign the lease, I will be my sister’s landlord. She and the family will move to a working/middle class and diverse neighborhood. And if she can manage not to stiff me for the rent (taxes & insurance mainly), she will be able to buy the house at a discounted price after a number of years. Which is fair since she’s in charge of all the maintenance. This moves my nieces out of an area of concentrated poverty and into an environment where they can be free to run in their own yard. The yard also give my BIL a place to garden.
This is not charity, it’s taking care of family and an opportunity to live out my beliefs. As a society we should take care of the least fortunate, but we should also encourage them to become strong and independent so they on an individual level can help others as well. I see independence as freedom, and everyone should be free.
I want to thank my roommate whose help has been invaluable as she drove me to the inconvenient bank and the other places I needed to get to. And I need to thank my supervisor, who let me leave work with a moment’s notice to deal with this.
So I’m going to put the blog in sleep mode while I take care of my new house, so the comments are in moderated mode. I’ll be back to the blog in a week or so.