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Afraid to ask for fear of offending

PreRaphaelite

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
1,629
Hi friends,
I just found out that a large section of property (maybe a dozen large lots, overflowing three streets and five blocks) just up the street from me was sold to a developer and will be turned into section 8 housing. My instinct is to react quickly, sell up and move sooner rather than later as our property value will probably not benefit from this new development.

First, am I factually incorrect? And second, am I morally and ethically wrong?
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
2,924
I'm thinking you need more information. HUD Section 8 funds haven't been available for new construction for, IIRC, more than 30 years; Section 8 only subsidizes payable-to-landlord rent vouchers.

It may be that your state/locality is offering private developers financial incentives to build housing for those with low to middle income, but the nature of such "affordable housing" projects varies widely. For example, 30% of the apartments in a proposed project (awaiting final approval, so subject to some revision) not far from where I live in NYC would be available for households with an annual income of up to nearly $115,000 (for a family of 3), which is 120% of our Area Median Income -- and classified as barely middle-income (an eye-popper for those who live in less pricey parts of the country):
https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/renters/area-median-income.page
Under the current proposal, 25% of the apartments will be for those whose incomes are appreciably lower.

Think this kind of "mixed" eligible income ranges amongst the intended tenants is a more common feature nowadays than they used to be, and other affordable housing developments in the pipeline in NYC will be mixed use (e.g., combined with office space, a day care center); some will require that a certain percentage of the units be set aside for rental by senior citizens on a fixed income below X dollars/year.

I'd like to think that your local government representative (City Council member?) can give you informed particulars, including the project's status (has it actually received final approval; is the project already the subject of litigation?) and your own Area Median Income, so you'll have a better understanding of what is, or is not, envisioned.
 

seaurchin

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
900
I definitely understand you being concerned. I agree with Molly that you need more information. This reminded me of years ago when they planned to put in a big patio home/duplex development behind my subdivision at the time. A lot of the neighbors were up in arms and went to the city hall meeting to complain, fearing it would bring down their property values. In the end, the patio homes/duplexes were built. And they cost about twice as much as any of our homes were worth. :) Hope it works out for you.
 

PreRaphaelite

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
1,629
Thanks for replying in the spirit of generosity. I was afraid to make sweeping assumptions despite my ‘frightened fieldmouse’ instincts. I’ll do some more research.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,044
Good luck, @PreRaphaelite. FWIW I would have exactly the same response you've shared here, and I see absolutely nothing morally or ethically suspect about it. The reality is that certain developments proximal to one's residence do devalue that property - but I agree that more information is needed determine if that's the prognosis here.

I would add that if you decide to sell, you are required to disclose exactly what you're required to disclose and not a whit more. The buyer is responsible for whatever information the buyer decides to take responsibility for above and beyond what you are required to disclose as a seller.
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
3,784
There’s nothing wrong with wishing to move elsewhere if the style of your Neighbourhood is going to change. When big developments go up strain can be placed on existing infrastructure ie more crowded buses, less street parking, more traffic congestion which isn’t great. But the change may not necessarily be all bad, so I’d find out more before rushing into anything.
 

PreRaphaelite

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
1,629
Small update. The development has been quick to bulldoze one of the larger blocks with all its trees, and some ‘model‘ units have been erected. They’re not ugly per se, but they don’t look much like homes as much as prison bunkers. Tightly packed cement slab Q-tip boxes, to my eye. The finishing touches might improve the new residents’ experience, but the size of the lots is tiny, and if they have pets, it will be uncomfortable and perhaps dangerous, as the back yards are not much wider than our local dog pound’s individual dog pens. Jury’s out still, and will be until the development is full, but if I were looking to buy a tiny house, I wouldn’t choose one where my bedroom shares a thin wall with my neighbor’s kitchen and overlooks their back patio.

However, the real change I’m seeing is my other neighbors very much on edge, as I am. There have been some arrests made as drug dealers increased their presence here, and the neighbor across the street has announced he is leaving. I’m not sad about him going.

He had a run-in, tempers flaring, with a few teenagers, and because he is a racist, he shouted epithets and the situation escalated. There have been squad cars in his driveway but the officers only cautioned him. The kids who were throwing rocks at him and his dog have made inflammatory claims but again, nothing has been done, and everyone is unhappy. The fact that he’s racist isn’t an arrest-able offense, (despite it being an actual intellectual defect) but since there weren’t any witnesses to the alleged rock-throwing (ok I saw something happen, but I’m not going to insert myself), there seems to be an impasse, and everyone is waiting for the next shoe to drop.

Meanwhile, lots of fixer-upper activity is going on. Quiet weekends are gone, with so many neighbors pressure-washing and repainting, tidying up front landscapes, and installing new house numbers (street numbers? Not sure what these are actually called, but home improvement stores sell them). Usually this activity happens in the spring, not in November. I haven’t seen anyone smiling on my street in months. The local gang of teenagers has become emboldened, tormenting my rear-adjacent neighbor with curses and swearing, so now I don’t let my animals into the back garden during the twice-daily school bus ingress. The kids have taken to hanging out at the new housing building lots. But no one has accused them of real damage as far as I know.

I’m uncomfortable. All along our street, cars are being broken into. I hope mine escapes this fate, and now you know why I’m not getting involved with my cross-the-street neighbor’s conflict. Also, I’m going out of town for two weeks, and now I’m worried about being broken in to. My partner pooh-poohs my concerns regardless of what they are, so really this is my only outlet.
 

soxfan

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
4,451
Based on the info you've given so far, I'd sell and move if I could. And I'd list quickly and at a reasonable price to ensure a quick sale. Is your partner on board? Do you have kids?
 

PreRaphaelite

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
1,629
Based on the info you've given so far, I'd sell and move if I could. And I'd list quickly and at a reasonable price to ensure a quick sale. Is your partner on board? Do you have kids?
Thanks for responding. No kids, and we’re not married. He is the homeowner, so I’m not anchored here as much as he is. Recently I told him that he needed to position himself to sell if he needed to. I think he is listening. He’s talking about repainting, so I guess we are in the same boat as everyone else.
 
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