Monday, August 16, 2010

Classism in McMansionville

The fight for maintaining your property values doesn't shield these Miami Township home owners when they fight to keep less expensive homes out of their subdivision. The situation has a group of home owners with houses the cost at least $300,000 fighting a developer from taking over an unfinished subdivision and completing it with $100,000 homes.

Keeping out middle and working class people is the goal. They can claim it is about property values, but that's not what it is about, it is about class, specifically keeping the lower classes out. I use "class" here to mean money/wealth, but part of what people with $300,000 homes mean is lower social status. To most people "class" refers to both the socio and economic distinction a person has, but in this case the prejudice is blatant and more importantly intentional. What these homeowners are telling us is that anyone who can't afford the $300,000 home has something wrong with them, and will degrade their lifestyle if they live near by. Segregation isn't going to make anyone stronger.

Look to OTR. We have Section 8 apartments a block from $250,000 condos next to $100,000 condos, all a block from market rate apartments. Go another block and you can find even more expensive condos. Except for the "activists" who are against any development anywhere, you are not going to find people complaining about mixing classes. You'll find more people seeing strength in this mix.

Let the lots go empty in Miami Township. Let the $300,000 homes lose value without adding more sprawl to the area. They may lose value slower, but less sprawl helps society more. Build more $100,000 homes in OTR or the West End or Pendleton. We'll be happy to have them in our neighborhood. We have neighborhoods, by the way, not subdivisions.

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