There’s plenty of evidence of the City’s revival as a place to live:
Between 2000-2004, City residential property values rose an average of 54%
From 2001 to 2004, 11,400 homes were built new or substantially rehabilitated in the City
In 2005, the City is on a pace to produce an additional 6,000 new homes
In estimates since the 2000 Census, St. Louis has been gaining population as new immigrant groups, young professionals, and empty nesters begin to spread out in neighborhoods throughout the City
People move to the City for a wide variety of reasons, but those reasons almost always include a desire to be part of the excitement and to share the sense of community that comes from living in a vibrant urban center and its great neighborhoods. The City is unique in the region for its cultural and ethnic diversity — and for its economic diversity. And many people value those diversities.
I am one of those people. I also believe that we have an obligation to share our new successes fairly. And I know that most City residents agree with me that we should not be throwing people out of the boat as the tide finally rises. This is a City for everyone.
To protect our poorest residents during the City’s growth, voters approved creation of an Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
The Fund stabilizes neighborhoods and preserves a healthy economic mix within them as more middle and upper income people are attracted back to the City.
All of the Fund’s programs are, by ordinance, designed to benefit low to moderate income persons earning 80 percent or less of the area median income. Forty percent of the funds benefit families with incomes at or below 20 percent of median income — a targeting that addresses that segment of our population with the greatest need for assistance.
New construction and major rehabilitation projects by the Fund provide jobs, create housing that is accessible for people with a wide range of mobilities, and improve the physical condition of a variety of neighborhoods.
The Fund also helps families pay their utilities and rent. It supports emergency shelters, and it pays for programs that get people ready to enter the workplace, live independent lives, and take care of their homes. And other Fund programs support my citywide initiatives to make St. Louis lead-safe and to end chronic homelessness.
These are all good programs — and they are important to the City’s vitality. We work hard to make them better.
If you want to read about the Trust Fund’s accomplishments or if you disagree with my thesis send me an email.