Sorry, Peachtreehillsvoter, you need to do the homework. When Glover took over AHA, the deplorable state of pubic housing in Atlanta was a scandal. More than 20 percent of the units were unsuitable for human habitation. The schools associated with public housing were among the worst in the city and the state. HUD has more than $1 billion in UNFUNDED repair bills across the nation -- as Mayor Jackson and others found out, spending money on repairs for buildings that could never be safe and healthy didn't work. You could not patch and paint the projects -- that had been tried many times. More important, the projects confined families in economic prisons, multi-generational poverty, academic failure, joblessness, etc. Razing the projects, and building healthy mixed income communities has put low income families on the road to the mainstream. Put another way, the expense of repairing the projects was outrageously high. By no longer dumping tens of millions of dollars on repairs, AHA now provides housing support for 6,000 MORE families than when all the projects were still occupied. How much sense would it make to force people to live in horrible housing, rather than in economically integrated neighborhoods. And, add to that, why would you keep a system that, because of its huge costs, meant that thousands of people could NOT get housing assistance.
The only people who benefited from the horrible conditions of housing projects were the machine politicians.
Professor Immergluck makes some good observations -- unfortunately, the view from the Ivory Tower generally doesn't depict reality. The current city administration, plus putting the mayor's chief fundraiser in charge of AHA, assures that the new leadership will be more engaged in "pay to play" fundraising for the mayor's campaigns than programs supporting affordable housing. Further, the political base in Atlanta was built in large part on poverty, especially the captive residents of the housing projects. Decades of manipulating those people by mayors and council members came to a halt as the concentrated prisons of poverty were demolished, and former housing project families moved into the mainstream. It is clear that the mayor and other "machine" politicians would like to see a return of housing projects, for political reasons not for the benefit of low-income families.
Finally, I spent much of the last 5 years making sure that all the data, granular or otherwise, at AHA was transparent. Indeed, I was one of a group that spearheaded a massive archiving of 80 years of AHA data -- 11,700 plus boxes of material -- that would become available to the public -- it is a project that would have told a compelling history of Atlanta (and the nation, considering the major role the city played in, first, creating public housing, and then in Renee Glover's "Atlanta Model" that is the template for housing reform nationwide). I doubt that project will be concluded under what will certainly be politicized leadership at AHA. Immergluck's vague assertion that data isn't easily available is merely a gratuitous slap, without support. The best refutation of that concern comes from the many, many scholars -- some colleagues of Immergluck at Georgia Tech, others at other universities and think tanks such as the Brookings Institute, Manhattan Institute and others -- who have never had any problem accessing huge volumes of AHA data. Unfortunately, the current board leadership of AHA is decidedly hostile to transparent open records.
From the dusty archives:
"Chaed89": You have half of the equation. The process should, as you suggest, produce the most revenue to the airport. But you also have to look at the quality--essentially a subjective evaluation--for what's being proposed. The exhibits in the litigation, as well as many other facts including the bid proposals themselves, show that the selection process was based on who (as in pay to play) and not what was best for the airport and the city. It was not a transparent process, it was decidedly non-transparent. There is substantial evidence of conflicts of interest and manipulation, especially regarding the decision to restart the whole procurement. It's also noteworthy how tenaciously the city fought to keep public records concealed.
So, an open and transparent procurement would do what's best for Atlanta, both financially and in the quality of products provided.
It's great to see the return of Doug.
Learning from history might avoid more mistakes. See:
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