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Friday, July 10, 2009

Stimulus Money Revitalizing the Neighborhood of Developer's Bank Account

Census Tract with most foreclosures
NOT designated for Stimulus money.

Plainfield Mayor Robinson-Briggs' application for $15 million in federal stimulus money for 'Neighborhood Stabilization Funding' to underwrite redevelopment of PNC's parking lot by Landmark Developers piqued my curiosity as to why this particular Census tract was selected.

As I wrote Wednesday (see here), HUD is offering and Plainfield is asking for the monies --
...[t]he Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2), authorized under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, provides through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding to be awarded on a competitive basis to states, municipalities, nonprofit organizations or consortia of nonprofits, to stabilize neighborhoods whose viability has been and continues to be damaged by the economic effects of properties that have been foreclosed upon and abandoned. (The city's online notice is here in PDF.)

So, how does the Census tract favored by Robinson-Briggs to address the issue of damaging economic effects stack up against Plainfield's OTHER nine Census tracts?

Here is a table of Plainfield's ten Census tracts arranged in descending order by numbers of foreclosures in the tract for 2008 --

2008 Foreclosures
Census Tract
Data from the New York Times

You will note that the Mayor's chosen tract comes in dead last in terms of numbers of foreclosures.

Now, I am not arguing that the project is not worthwhile, but if you thought that fairness demanded attention to any other Census tract than this one, you are just showing that you do not understand how the game is played.

As someone once said, all animals are created equal, it's just that some are more equal.

Here are images of Plainfield's ten Census tracts, showing numbers of foreclosures for 2008, taken from the New York Times' interactive map (see here) -- as always, clicking on an image will reveal a large, crisp version of same.

Census Tract 388

Census Tract 389

Census Tract 390

Census Tract 391

Census Tract 392

Census Tract 393

Census Tract 394

Census Tract 395

Census Tract 396

Census Tract 397

-- Dan Damon

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olddoc said...

How many of the 25 foreclosures were commercial properties or residential? Isn't the stimulus plan to upgrade blighted residential neighborhoods, or am I utterly confused?

Anonymous said...

So, let me get this straight. The administration with Landmark Developers wants to develop a parcel of land and put in 100 additional rental units using federal stimulus dollars even though that particular tract comes in dead LAST in terms of foreclosures? Is that what you are saying could potentially happen, Dan? Who would live in these units, and how would it impact the school system, and the police and fire? Aren't there enough apartment rental units already in PlainfielD? Why would they create more? I understand rehabbing already existing units, but creating more? Why would the administration even consider this? If you look at the census tract in the farther part of the 4th ward, especially, you see that the number of foreclosures is much higher there. Wouldn't it make sense to work in that area to help homeowners or something? I am not really understanding a lot of this, except that I know that starting with the census tract with the lowest # of foreclosures in a commercial area doesn't amek sense. I have to ask another question: how much money in political contributions has Landmark Developers given to Jerry Green and Sharon Robinson-Briggs and the county?