7 thoughts on “Redevelopment in Dignowity Hill to Include Credit Union, Pizza Shop

  1. “…if you’re willing to help and maintain the existing community.” Thank you for the article, Iris. I’m intrigued how a community will help current residents stay in their rented, mortgaged, or owned home. Eventually, I may be a resident of SA looking for help staying in a gentrifying neighborhood, wondering how to pay the taxes and utilities while keeping fed and maintained, house and body.

    • I am also curious about how San Antonio will go about gentrifying/improving/beautifying its near-downtown neighborhoods without displacing current residents, tenants, and businesses. I know several people who live in Government Hill, Westfort, Dignowity Hill and Lavaca neighborhoods whose property taxes have shot through the roof to the point of being nearly unaffordable.

      Growth and updating are vital to a city, but they often come at the expense of the poor and underrepresented. I hope our city leaders look at the experiences of Denver and Portland for insights on how to avoid the negative effects of gentrification as we continue to expand and refill downtown.

  2. Gentrification can be addressed by new state laws giving cities the ability to not increase taxes(city, county ,school, etc)on existing home ownership and have some local control of rental increases of existing units. All new development could be taxed based on the market since new owners and renters would be moving in the area with a better income.

    • Emil, you made a good point. The ugly irony is that most of the new apartment developments are partnering with non-profits and not paying taxes at all. It’s repugnant to me that these non-profit partnerships that are providing the lions share of the new housing stock are riding on the backs of the people that are already living in a neighborhood. Whether they’re renters or owner’s is negligible difference.

      The other ugly invention is called a TIFF or a TIRZ. These mechanisms actually made sense when they were initially created and were very successful to jump start a neighborhood or an area. But once a neighborhood receives that initial boost the TIFF’s and TIRZ’s need to go away, but they don’t. Free money is just so irresistible. At the end of the day it ‘s the homeowners and business owners (whether actual owners or landlords) that pick up the entire tab for everyone else. I could blab for hours about this.

      • Your issue with TIFF/TIRZ is one of implementation. Conceptually, they provide a way for communities to actually fight back against the downsides of “gentrification” by creating pools of capital at favorable terms to improve the assets already in the community. However, there is still a need for organization and partnerships to work through a community driven redevelopment strategy versus an “outsider” strategy.

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