Dayton confuses gentrification with community development

This is why Chris Shaw and Matt Joseph can’t be re-elected, nor should the people in charge of “economic development” and “community development” in Dayton be allowed to continue with their “vision” of Dayton. This “program” is nothing but a tool to assist in red-lining and discrimination, while encouraging gentrification. True community development rises all ships so to speak- from the poorest to the wealthiest. It makes equity, it doesn’t import it.

Dayton wants and needs new residents after losing nearly half of its population in roughly the last 60 years. Now, a new project will try to help people find out which of the city’s 66 neighborhoods are the best match for them.

A city of Dayton planning consultant is launching the new, datadriven neighborhood marketing project, which is similar to programs in Cleveland, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Detroit.

The program will create neighborhood profiles to provide information useful to housing-seekers, such as average home values, average house and lot sizes, and walkability and bikeability.

“It’s a very interesting project,” said Todd Kinskey, Dayton’s director of planning and community development. “I think it’s about showcasing what’s going on in the neighborhoods.”

The Dayton project, which doesn’t have an official name yet, is modeled after Live Cleveland!, Live Detroit, Live Baltimore and PittsburghCityLiving.com.

The online neighborhood profiles will feature photographs of properties in those areas and maps identifying retail districts, schools, parks and assets like hospitals, activity centers and bike paths.

“It’s really important in these initiatives to use a lot of imagery,” said Steve Gondol, a city of Dayton planning consultant who is leading the project. “It’s the best sales pitch for any city.”

Every neighborhood is different, and the profiles will tell each of their individual stories, Gondol said.

Gondol said he helped compile data on every neighborhood in Dayton that people could find valuable, such as home sales, changes in residential sales prices and the age and length of time properties have been on the market.

The idea is to put information in a format people can use to make decisions about where they want to live, and context is important, he said.

Home sales alone do not necessarily identify the hottest housing markets since neighborhoods vary in size, he said.

Belmont had the largest number of sales, but College Hill, Edgemont and Carillon had a greater share of sales, compared to the number of overall properties in the neighborhoods, he said.

Gondol said the project will share and update data to provide a tool showing objectively what’s going on in the real estate market.

Gondol said they plan to work with neighborhood leaders to help build profiles that accurately captures the areas’ sense of place and what it’s like to live there.

“It’ll be a thesis of what’s great about their neighborhoods,” he said.

Source: Dayton project looks to draw in residents – Dayton Daily News

While this kind of data is critical to identify and build tools to help neighborhoods stabilize their property values and work to build them, it’s not one that you want to share as a marketing tool- at least unless there are protections against rising property taxes and mechanisms to help the less fortunate maintain their homes to matching standards.

While I’m very proud of the progress we’ve made in South Park, it’s also come at a cost- some long term residents and friends have been forced to move as rents rise along with property values. That’s not true community development- where everyone gets to share in the wealth. While government has been quick to offer TIF districts (Tax Incremental Financing) to business developers- where the higher taxes they pay go back to build infrastructure to support their development- we need TIF districts for helping stabilize neighborhoods. So that people who live in houses that banks won’t lend on and insurance companies won’t insure- can have access to capital to do improvements without worry that their tax burden will increase.
Our current system where what you do or what your neighbor does can destabilize your tax valuation for your neighbors has to stop if we don’t want to continue on the road to inequity and gentrification.

I’m the only candidate talking about this- it’s one of my top 5 issues on www.electesrati.com My other signature program is to bring fare free public transit to all– to provide bottom up value to those who are struggling most. We already pay for RTA via Federal taxes and a  half cent sales tax- why add additional burden to the people who don’t have a choice than to ride the bus?

Dayton already has a map of disproportionate communities with clear boundaries and differing socio-economic subsets- they are called suburbs, and if we were really thinking about how to fix our region, those boundaries would be the first ones we need to redefine for prosperity and opportunity for all.

And, btw- try going to the websites for Matt Joseph or Chris Shaw and see if you see any kind of thoughtful analysis on their sites.

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