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What's Left of the Fourth Ward Near Taft & West Grey

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I guess I am looking for some thoughts on this immediate area - Freedman's town seems to be getting squezed from all sides with developement. Any insight on living in Freedman's town?

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It's being picked apart, bit by bit. The first thing was the federal government taking part of it near Allen Parkway to build housing for veterans returning from war. If I'm recalling correctly, the federal government compensated the city for it, and the city agreed to build housing elsewhere for the displaced people, but they either stole the money or blew it on other stuff, I can't recall which. More recently the three story townhomes are infiltrating and replacing it.

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I have not driven through Freedmans town lately, is the maintainence-deferred church still being propped up by those beams that bring so much joy to the residents around it?

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I live two blocks South of West Gray and Taft and I love it. The gentrification is full speed ahead.

Are you on the Montrose or 4th Ward side?

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I live two blocks South of West Gray and Taft and I love it. The gentrification is full speed ahead.

it's been full speed ahead for a few years now.

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I guess I am looking for some thoughts on this immediate area - Freedman's town seems to be getting squezed from all sides with developement. Any insight on living in Freedman's town?

I live on the east side of 4th ward, a few blocks from 45. It isn't all bad, haven't really had any problems in the few years I've been there, though a neighbor's home was broken into last week. There's still a rough element to the neighborhood the closer you get to Taft, specifically Gillette/Bailey/Wilson streets. There's already some construction starting again on a couple vacant lots, as the market recovers I think more of the neighborhood will be improved and some of the lingering thug element will be priced out and have to move.

It's being picked apart, bit by bit. The first thing was the federal government taking part of it near Allen Parkway to build housing for veterans returning from war. If I'm recalling correctly, the federal government compensated the city for it, and the city agreed to build housing elsewhere for the displaced people, but they either stole the money or blew it on other stuff, I can't recall which. More recently the three story townhomes are infiltrating and replacing it.

That'd be the massive section eight complex off Allen Parkway, what a gem . . .

I have not driven through Freedmans town lately, is the maintainence-deferred church still being propped up by those beams that bring so much joy to the residents around it?

Yep, thanks to Queen Sheila it's still there. I last checked the 4th Ward TIRZ budget a few months back and some $2.5M has been allocated for the relic. Absurd.

And to think, the contractor tipped a crane over when assembling the steel, could have ended up in someone's living room. And for what? Should have taken the thing down when it was on fire.

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Yep, thanks to Queen Sheila it's still there. I last checked the 4th Ward TIRZ budget a few months back and some $2.5M has been allocated for the relic. Absurd.

And to think, the contractor tipped a crane over when assembling the steel, could have ended up in someone's living room. And for what? Should have taken the thing down when it was on fire.

That's a misuse of TIRZ dollar IMHO. One could also argue church and state issues, but I'm not sure how far that would get you. If it was worth preserving then the congregation should have been preserving it.

Pathetic.

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The money for the church is to convert that space into a public park. The idea was to leave some of the walls intact. There was a thread about it a while back.

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The money for the church is to convert that space into a public park. The idea was to leave some of the walls intact. There was a thread about it a while back.

It takes 2.5 mil to convert it to a public park?

For just $30k I'll give you a dog park, bocce court, and BBQ pits, all surrounded by a sidewalk made of reclaimed brick.

Edited by TGM

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My understanding is that as part of the Allen Parkway Village deal, the government would provide affordable housing for some of the displaced redidents in the 4th Ward area. I believe these are the two-stories homes small homes that were built about 10 to 15 years ago (they are nearly identical, very small, and frankly look like gov't housing). To make these homes afordable, I thought that the homes received a ten-year real estate tax subsidy, and therefore it was my belief that when the subsidy ended, the lower income residents would be forced to leave because they could not afford the taxes. To date, I haven't seen that happening. Instead, I just see the shacks getting demo'd and replaced with new twonhomes. Hopefully it will come with time. I agree with TonyM that it gets rougher the more you go west, but the school is a great buffer. The new apartment complex going up by the Fed may help speed the changing of that side of the neighborhood.

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That's a misuse of TIRZ dollar IMHO. One could also argue church and state issues, but I'm not sure how far that would get you. If it was worth preserving then the congregation should have been preserving it.

Pathetic.

Couldn't agree more that in it's current state (which it has been in for three years) it's a grotesque waste. But to the few people who care about "preserving" that church I suppose they don't give a rat's behind that it impacts all the "rich folk" in the townhouses. I actually had a conversation with the guy who was called in to take a wrecking ball to that thing when it was on fire, he arrived and hopped in the saddle to start demo before it burned down everyone's townhouses when SJL came running up to him screaming obscenities, calling him a racist, etc.

Guy got out of the crane and left. And now we have a derelict, dangerous structure held up by steel that is blocking a road and yielded a tipped crane that could have injured or killed someone, let alone damage to property,

The money for the church is to convert that space into a public park. The idea was to leave some of the walls intact. There was a thread about it a while back.

Yeah I've heard all that, wonderful idea but any contractor could have that done in a few months of the TIRZ would let the contract and get started. They haven't made any progress and what was advertised on the little sign during the erection of the steel as costing $350k has so far run up a tab into 7 figures. How does that happen?

For each of the last few fiscal years the TIRZ has budgeted money (to the tune of a couple million bucks) to improve the god awful streets around the neighborhood but they end up allocating and spending none of it on roads. Where is the cash going? The roads are awful. I can see waiting to do the roads around Camden until construction is finished but there are plenty of other streets that could be redone now. I suspect there is some serious financial issues behind the scenes with the TIRZ. I just hope they aren't spending money for neighborhood improvements on contractor kickbacks and buying up empty land for more subsidized housing like some are doing in third ward.

My understanding is that as part of the Allen Parkway Village deal, the government would provide affordable housing for some of the displaced redidents in the 4th Ward area. I believe these are the two-stories homes small homes that were built about 10 to 15 years ago (they are nearly identical, very small, and frankly look like gov't housing). To make these homes afordable, I thought that the homes received a ten-year real estate tax subsidy, and therefore it was my belief that when the subsidy ended, the lower income residents would be forced to leave because they could not afford the taxes. To date, I haven't seen that happening. Instead, I just see the shacks getting demo'd and replaced with new twonhomes. Hopefully it will come with time. I agree with TonyM that it gets rougher the more you go west, but the school is a great buffer. The new apartment complex going up by the Fed may help speed the changing of that side of the neighborhood.

Correct you are. There's quite a bit of housing that was subsidized through the 4th ward, but what you described IS starting to happen and will accelerate by 2014 (most of the houses were built in 2003-2004).

The homes had an original price of ~72k-92k when new. The city extended these "credit worthy" buyers (had to be minorities to qualify) 20% down payment assistance that would have to be paid back to the city pro-rata if the original buyers sold their homes within 10 years. So that tether is about up. The other tether was a seven year HCAD valuation freeze to ensure the property taxes wouldn't go up, that lifted last year and already quite a few homes have turned over. You can see which ones have sold if you look in HCAD and see homes with a valuation higher than $92k.

Already I know of a few that went to foreclosure when the valuation freeze lifted and others that have started selling. Market value for those houses right now is probably $160k or so, these folks are cashing in if they stuck it out and actually paid their bills. When the term for repaying some of the down payment lifts in another year or two I think we'll see values really start creeping up in 4th ward and development of empty lots will accelerate.

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If HPD had any smarts, they would rent some of those apartments for surveillance purposes for a few months.

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Correct you are. There's quite a bit of housing that was subsidized through the 4th ward, but what you described IS starting to happen and will accelerate by 2014 (most of the houses were built in 2003-2004).

The homes had an original price of ~72k-92k when new. The city extended these "credit worthy" buyers (had to be minorities to qualify) 20% down payment assistance that would have to be paid back to the city pro-rata if the original buyers sold their homes within 10 years. So that tether is about up. The other tether was a seven year HCAD valuation freeze to ensure the property taxes wouldn't go up, that lifted last year and already quite a few homes have turned over. You can see which ones have sold if you look in HCAD and see homes with a valuation higher than $92k.

Already I know of a few that went to foreclosure when the valuation freeze lifted and others that have started selling. Market value for those houses right now is probably $160k or so, these folks are cashing in if they stuck it out and actually paid their bills. When the term for repaying some of the down payment lifts in another year or two I think we'll see values really start creeping up in 4th ward and development of empty lots will accelerate.

This is incorrect. There was no racial component to the housing. It was only income limited. I know several flight attendants who qualified and purchased some of these homes. Of the block that I am discussing, only one person has sold. That house value has jumped up to $166,000. The others are still fixed at $90k or $92k.

Obviously, I am only talking about one block, so other blocks of affordable housing may have had more turnover, but this block has had virtually none.

EDIT: I just looked at another block and part of a third. Of those, I also only found one home that sold, in 2005. It appears that your claim that quite a few homes have turned over or are going into foreclosure is incorrect. These other blocks had tax freezes that expired in 2011, so they are some of the first homes built.

Edited by RedScare

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This is incorrect. There was no racial component to the housing. It was only income limited. I know several flight attendants who qualified and purchased some of these homes. Of the block that I am discussing, only one person has sold. That house value has jumped up to $166,000. The others are still fixed at $90k or $92k.

Obviously, I am only talking about one block, so other blocks of affordable housing may have had more turnover, but this block has had virtually none.

EDIT: I just looked at another block and part of a third. Of those, I also only found one home that sold, in 2005. It appears that your claim that quite a few homes have turned over or are going into foreclosure is incorrect. These other blocks had tax freezes that expired in 2011, so they are some of the first homes built.

Alright, by the letter of the law it's incorrect. But bottom line there was a bit of a racial component in practice as most all the original owners are minorities. HUD/Houston Housing launched the program to aid the residents being displaced by the developers putting in expensive new homes and pricing them out of the neighborhood (which is now starting to happen). And the residents of the neighborhood they were trying to retain were low income blacks who've lived there for generations.

On my particular block, three of seven homes have turned over (two via foreclosure, one via market sale), one is still owned and occupied by the original buyers, and two are being rented out while still being owned by the original buyers. The original buyers have been fighting HCAD every year to hold the value at $92k. I also do wonder how these landlords qualified to buy housing aimed at those with low income, but that's another discussion. Obviously it may not representative of the entire neighborhood but from my view (considering I live there) my block is a pretty good example of where the neighborhood is moving.

In addition, HCAD doesn't have visibility of the number of these houses being rented out (many for market rate, $1300/mo+) while still being owned by the original buyers. They're getting market rate rent while fighting to hold down their property value at the subsidized prices. In some cases the HCAD value is even lower than the $90 or 92k depending on how much purchase assistance the buyer(s) received, a bit questionable I think.

Edited by TonyM

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For each of the last few fiscal years the TIRZ has budgeted money (to the tune of a couple million bucks) to improve the god awful streets around the neighborhood but they end up allocating and spending none of it on roads. Where is the cash going? The roads are awful. I can see waiting to do the roads around Camden until construction is finished but there are plenty of other streets that could be redone now. I suspect there is some serious financial issues behind the scenes with the TIRZ. I just hope they aren't spending money for neighborhood improvements on contractor kickbacks and buying up empty land for more subsidized housing like some are doing in third ward.

Like this: http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/housing/Land-Rush.html

"The Power Broker"

"Garnet Coleman shares most of Lowe's concerns about what's happening in the Third Ward. His hands, however, lie closer to the levers of political power, and his stake in the neighborhood is more deeply personal. "Third Ward is my home -- it's not for sale," Coleman says. "A hundred years in my family. It's a very different point of view."

The key to Coleman's approach is money -- money to buy land and take it out of circulation. To get it, Coleman is utilizing a quasi-governmental authority, deploying tactics that would make the legendary highway and bridge builder Robert Moses proud. If Moses manipulated the back channels of power in New York for the cause of promoting development, however, Coleman is doing the same in Houston in order to impede it.

Coleman's vehicle is an urban investment tool known to most cities that use it as "tax increment financing." In Houston, the arrangement goes by a different name -- "tax increment reinvestment zone" or TIRZ. The idea is that as a depressed area redevelops, the resulting increase in property taxes pays for more improvements in the neighborhood. Houston's city council has designated 22 such TIRZs in different neighborhoods, each with its own governing board. Typically, their goal is to spruce up sidewalks, lighting and landscaping, in hopes of attracting even more development.

One TIRZ, in a neighborhood known as Midtown, is acting a little differently. Midtown is a once run-down area of commercial warehouses just east of the Third Ward. It's now transformed into a thriving neighborhood of apartments, shops, restaurants and nightclubs. The board of the Midtown TIRZ is divided between Coleman loyalists and appointees of Mayor White. The board has chosen to use almost all of its revenues -- $10 million in the past five years -- to purchase and then "bank" land in the Third Ward. "If you look at Midtown, that was all publicly induced -- ain't none of it affordable," says Coleman. "Why can't we do the same thing for people who need an affordable place to live?"

It's a decidedly unorthodox arrangement, one whose very existence seems to be something of a secret. Coleman declines to say how much land the Midtown TIRZ has banked in the Third Ward. He'll say only that he wants the land to be used for low-income rental housing, with deeds held by local churches and CDCs that could borrow against the value of the land in order to build more affordable housing. "Low-density rental is the only way for it to be affordable," Coleman argues. "You keep the character of the neighborhood while providing affordable housing."

In order to save the Third Ward, Coleman seems intent on freezing its current character and demographics in place. An essential part of his plan is to attach restrictive deeds to the rental properties to ensure that they are never sold to private developers or converted to condos. But is it really possible for a neighborhood to resist change? Fifty years ago, much of the area that Coleman now sees as his patrimony was a largely Jewish neighborhood. Only in the 1960s did the area become predominantly black. What Coleman is trying to do is keep it that way. He seems to enjoy the challenge. "Everyone said it couldn't be done," he crows, with obvious relish. "I said, 'Watch me.' "

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TGM - that is exactly the piece I was referring to, haha.

Though I shouldn't laugh, I think it's a gross misuse of TIRZ funds and I'm not entirely sure how they get away with it.

Edited by TonyM

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I'll tell you what's gross; the amount of power a certain person has to be confident enough to publicly admit what you are doing with Midtown residents money knowing that it will never come back to haunt you. When I realized a few years ago that the very people tasked with revitalizing the neighborhood were actively trying to harm it I knew it was time to get out.

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It takes 2.5 mil to convert it to a public park?

For just $30k I'll give you a dog park, bocce court, and BBQ pits, all surrounded by a sidewalk made of reclaimed brick.

Is this construction project insured? How long will you maintain it? Why would the church sell the land to you for so little? An empty lot of that size is worth way more than your supposed entire cost.

Edited by kylejack

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Is this construction project insured? How long will you maintain it? Why would the church sell the land to you for so little? An empty lot of that size is worth way more than your supposed entire cost.

It's a 14,000sqft lot and the City of Houston already owns it:

http://hcad.org/records/details.asp?crypt=%94%9A%B0%94%BFg%84%8D%84zhj%8El%87tXu%5DW%9E%99%A2%D3%89%95%C2e%7CU%8A%7E%86%C0%AB%A8%AD%86%5E&bld=1&tab=

Maybe $30k was a bit tongue-in-cheek (I won't speak for TGM), but the point is for a hell of a lot less than $2.5M that relic should be leveled. The city needs to finish the park or sell the lot to a developer and move on. Shit or get off the pot, as they say . . .

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Once you realize how the pricing model works its pretty easy to figure out where the $2.5M went.

sjl-face-the-nation.jpg

$10k - email reply

$50k - reply letter with SJL letterhead (suitable for framing)

$100k - call returned by current staff member (staff subject to change without notice)

$250k - meeting with chief of staff

$500k - sound bite of your cause included in speech

$1M - name of cause mentioned with an angry voice

$2M - Press conference with guarantee of 3+ microphones

$2.5M - Level 1 Outrage *

*each increased level of outrage is $1M.

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I can't wait to see Freedman's town wiped of the map. Spare me the historic-racism-preservation bull. I would rather look at a 3 story townhome owned by a downtowner, young professional, or even a developer/owner than a ratty one room shack with 5-7, perfectly employable citizens of Houston, sitting on the front porch, yard, and in the middle of the street doing nothing but infuencing the youth of the area to follow down their same wretched path.

Goodbye Freedman's Town...I look forward to reading about you in a book one day than having to drive down Gillete and experience you. Onward and Upward.

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I can't wait to see Freedman's town wiped of the map. Spare me the historic-racism-preservation bull. I would rather look at a 3 story townhome owned by a downtowner, young professional, or even a developer/owner than a ratty one room shack with 5-7, perfectly employable citizens of Houston, sitting on the front porch, yard, and in the middle of the street doing nothing but infuencing the youth of the area to follow down their same wretched path.

Goodbye Freedman's Town...I look forward to reading about you in a book one day than having to drive down Gillete and experience you. Onward and Upward.

So the people living there don't have jobs, for the most part? Source on that claim?

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So the people living there don't have jobs, for the most part? Source on that claim?

I agree that there is a percentage that mirrors those claims as I have driven around there looking at lots. Albeit, they really stand out now as development is starting to buy in.

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So the people living there don't have jobs, for the most part? Source on that claim?

Some do, but I have to say the comment isn't too far off base. Quite a few folks just sittin on the porch day in and day out, see them in the same spot(s) everyday.

I get wanting to preserve history and all, where it's warranted. But what's left of this neighborhood is far from "historic".

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Well, I'm a downtown yuppie type who is currently unemployed. I just think it's being a little simplistic.

Nobody said reality was always complicated, sometimes it's just as it appears . . . ;)

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So the people living there don't have jobs, for the most part? Source on that claim?

No need for a source when you drive through the area daily. Sometimes several times a day and see the same ol' people doing the exact same nothing all the time.

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No need for a source when you drive through the area daily. Sometimes several times a day and see the same ol' people doing the exact same nothing all the time.

So no, you don't have any hard evidence that they don't have jobs, just that you see people during the day. You don't know if they work nights, if they're retired, or whatever? For the record, welfare is pretty hard for men without children to get, so I'm not sure what you think they're living on.

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So no, you don't have any hard evidence that they don't have jobs, just that you see people during the day. You don't know if they work nights, if they're retired, or whatever? For the record, welfare is pretty hard for men without children to get, so I'm not sure what you think they're living on.

Judging by the 10 or so kids constantly around, and the handful of women, I certainly assume they only way they sustain themselves is welfare. Some of the houses these people live in should be condemned they're in such poor shape, derelict is a compliment.

But, they've got half decent cars and satellite dishes on the roof . . . and they're there every time I, you, or anyone else drives by.

Sometimes the observed evidence does exist to justify the assumption, kylejack.

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But, they've got half decent cars and satellite dishes on the roof . . . and they're there every time I, you, or anyone else drives by.

Sometimes the observed evidence does exist to justify the assumption, kylejack.

Perhaps they're gainfully employed, and don't bother checking in with you to let them know that they're headed off to work their night shift.

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Perhaps they're gainfully employed, and don't bother checking in with you to let them know that they're headed off to work their night shift.

Tell ya what, you move into the neighborhood and make the observations I do on a daily basis and we'll talk again sometime, haha.

Must be nice to be blissfully ignorant . . .

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No need for a source when you drive through the area daily. Sometimes several times a day and see the same ol' people doing the exact same nothing all the time.

Maybe they're actively preserving history.

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For the record, welfare is pretty hard for men without children to get, so I'm not sure what you think they're living on.

Probably change, and whatever remains of hope.

I'm going to call BS on your statement that it's hard for single men to get welfare. I really don't see today's government turning anyone down for any sort of dependance, um,err, assistance. If a person can some how eff-up getting on the government gravy train then there is little hope for them. For heavens sake, we fund groups like Acorn to insure everyone gets pie.

Edited by TGM

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Tell ya what, you move into the neighborhood and make the observations I do on a daily basis and we'll talk again sometime, haha.

Must be nice to be blissfully ignorant . . .

Must be nice to be blissfully narcissistic.

Am I correct in reading your posts that you are complaining about people relaxing on their front porch? Since we are making wildassed assumptions, let me assume that they were in the neighborhood first. What gives you the right to run them off, or to even suggest that they should be run off? Simply because you spent more money on your home? Did you not realize that there were colored people in the 4th Ward before you got there? You sound awfully jealous of those who don't have to work as hard as you do. Maybe if you weren't such a slave to consumer goods, you'd be able to relax on your porch a bit, too.

My initial reaction was that at least you are not as bad as my Heights neighbors who change the law to tell me what I could do with my house. But now I am thinking I shouldn't give you any ideas.

Just a head's up. I'm working from home tomorrow. Please don't spread any rumors that I am a deadbeat who gets welfare checks.

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I'm going to call BS on your statement that it's hard for single men to get welfare. I really don't see today's government turning anyone down for any sort of dependance, um,err, assistance. If a person can some how eff-up getting on the government gravy train then there is little hope for them. For heavens sake, we fund groups like Acorn to insure everyone gets pie.

You are? I will recommend reading up on Clinton's welfare-to-work reforms.

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Probably change, and whatever remains of hope.

I'm going to call BS on your statement that it's hard for single men to get welfare. I really don't see today's government turning anyone down for any sort of dependance, um,err, assistance. If a person can some how eff-up getting on the government gravy train then there is little hope for them. For heavens sake, we fund groups like Acorn to insure everyone gets pie.

Well, let's see your proof, then. Or, would you rather grumble on AM radio talk shows about things that are untrue? Which program is for single childless men, cuz I'm going to sign up and sit on my porch once I get it. I've worked hard enough for this life.

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Churches are probably be the only thing that could have been saved from Freedmen's Town.

Antioch Baptist is the only bldg left from the portion of the nab that was sliced off into downtown; the same will probably be true of the church park.

Edited by infinite_jim
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Well, let's see your proof, then. Or, would you rather grumble on AM radio talk shows about things that are untrue? Which program is for single childless men, cuz I'm going to sign up and sit on my porch once I get it. I've worked hard enough for this life.

Red, I don't really get a chance to listen to radio during the work day. Could you provide a re-cap of today's grumblings. And since it sounds like you've worked hard for your money, how about helping me out with a loan. Four out of five of the window units the city gave me are on the fritz!

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So no, you don't have any hard evidence that they don't have jobs, just that you see people during the day. You don't know if they work nights, if they're retired, or whatever? For the record, welfare is pretty hard for men without children to get, so I'm not sure what you think they're living on.

Sorry but that is just being naive. It may be more difficult for a man without children to qualify but not for the momma's of those children. Do you really not realize that they demand their 'cut' of that Lonestar Card?

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Red, I don't really get a chance to listen to radio during the work day. Could you provide a re-cap of today's grumblings. And since it sounds like you've worked hard for your money, how about helping me out with a loan. Four out of five of the window units the city gave me are on the fritz!

The true sign of a man who has lost a debate is when he attempts to change the subject. When you prove your previous post I'll join in on your jokes. Until then, I will lump you in with Limbaugh's listeners.

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Am I liberal? I don't think I've expressed any political opinions in this thread, and you might be surprised at my political alignment. As I said earlier in the thread, I've walked down that exact stretch of road later than 11:25 to get to bars such as Front Porch Pub, so yes, I would walk there.

I was assuming, which I thought was nicer than assuming that you are a dumb*ss.

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The true sign of a man who has lost a debate is when he attempts to change the subject. When you prove your previous post I'll join in on your jokes.

We both know that's a suckers choice as you'll continue to move the goal posts with each example I cite and I'll never get to hear your jokes. Let's just say people I thought I knew have surprised me in their faking of of PTSDs, work-place injuries, actual job search efforts, and unreported sources of income that will allow them to qualify for "assistance".

Have you not noticed increased amounts of advertisements informing people of various benefits? They want to give away more money.

Until then, I will lump you in with Limbaugh's listeners.

So?

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No moving posts. Just waiting for you to tell us what programs are available to single childless males. Not a tough task. The fact that you cannot or will not name any seems to validate kylejack and I's point.

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Wow, these guys are pretty butthurt about their elected officials representing the interests of their constituents. It must make you mad that they keep getting re-elected. Maybe you should move to Katy, where you won't be offended by any non-white people enjoying their porches during the day.

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The best part is that they're not even complaining about any specific behavior that infringes on their property rights, or being harassed in the street, etc. They're just upset that they imagine someone is getting some kind of government assistance. Clearly, the posters have never taken any government assistance. Not student loans or grants, no public funding for universities, no mortgage interest deduction, nothing. And certainly without any help from parents or relatives. Totally by their own thousand dollarsing bootstraps.

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I love that it seems the "we're not racists" but all the blacks are unemployed and ruining our neighborhood folks generally agree that facts aren't needed when forming an opinion.

RedScare just blew the lid off of TonyM's claims but that didn't deter him from keepin' on keepin' on!

Another links to an article on a pro developer's website that I had to stop reading once I got to the part about Midtown being a one time run down warehouse neighborhood located to the EAST of the Third Ward. Seriously? Huh? Was it too hard to google a map before printing that garbage?

Also, history lesson for you young guns in the Fourth Ward, the Allen Parkway Village originally began as a place for veterans to move in to after the war. WHITE veterans. It was 100% off limits to blacks. Over the years, it did indeed transform into a public housing complex, but even then it was NEVER close to being 100% black. In fact, during the last few years after most of the others had moved on, many of the remaining families were actually Vietnamese.

Several historians have argued that placing an all white veterans housing project on the outskirts of Houston's thriving black community (Freedman Town)was just another in a long line of deliberate actions to cut through the heart of the black community and claim the very valuable land for white land brokers who wanted to expand their downtown footprint (Allen Center).

Allen Parkway, Allen Parkway Village, the Pierce Elevated, and the very purposeful neglect the city showed to that area over the years are what caused that community to rot. Houston lost a ton of history when the Pierce was built. It would blow your mind to see what was torn down, cut off, and killed off. What's truly amazing is that it took as long as it did for the neighborhood to completely disappear largely due to the oil bust in the 1980s that killed almost all large scale development in the city for nearly two decades.

edit to add-

I should have waited to respond after I had read the comments on the 2nd page of the thread. Hopefully this country will revert back to a point where knowledge and intellectualism are respected more than just shouting mistruths louder than the opposition.

Red, Kyle and others have asked a very simple question... can you provide a link to the program that allows single men to get welfare? You can't because there isn't one. Instead of admitting that you were wrong (or, rather, that you are a liar) you then change the conversation to talk about Acorn and baby daddy's.

You do realize that the Acorn video was a shameless smear job undertaken by political wannabes, right? You do realize that those two assclowns that dressed up as a hooker and pimp edited those videos beyond recognition and have been discredited by every reputable news organization and that even Fox had to recant (although you'd hardly have known it) the story?

And, as for baby Daddy's, you really should just shut the hell up. You do realize that we live in Texas, right? You do realize that programs like WIC, food stamps, and yes, even welfare, have been slashed since Clinton at the federal level and even more by our run of Republican governors in Texas, right?

And, funny that your complaint is that you see black men on their porches during the day and that that makes you upset because you work hard for the money. Well then, what the hell were you doing there during work hours? As has been pointed out, you have NO IDEA of whether or not any of those men work night shifts, are disabled, are returning home from a tour of duty, or are working from home. You just assume. That's intellectually lazy.

Edited by KinkaidAlum
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I bought a book last week, "The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City" that has a chapter on Houston that is a slightly updated version of that article (which is from 2006).

But yeah, these guys are being willfully ignorant of Houston's history. "Queen Sheila" (a racist trope if there ever was one.) I wonder if a guy named "Tony" had ancestors piled into a Lower East Side tenement building -- which 100 years later is some very expensive housing. Somewhat ironic.

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