When many liberals look at a rag-tag group of neighborhood activists fighting against a corporation, their tribal instinct is to back the neighborhood activists. But when it comes to the issue of infill housing development, this gets the politics exactly backwards.
Renter/home-buyer interests and housing developer interests are basically aligned. Not perfectly aligned, but about as well aligned as any political coalition is going to get. Both benefit from more total housing construction. Both are harmed by regulatory caps on the housing supply. So wherever you see developers pushing to build more housing units than neighbors want, the correct pro-equity position is to cheer them on.
This is a family blog, so I’ll put Chris Sawyer’s surly tribute to Philly developer Ori Feibush below the fold, but I agree completely. Everybody agrees the glut of vacant lots and blight in Philly is horrible. But what goes in those vacant lots if not more housing and mixed-use buildings? Can’t be all gardens and parks. City housing costs are too high. It’s time to build more infill housing, and the people who are fighting tooth and nail against NIMBYs and other pro-scarcity forces are heroes:
I’ve already admitted my bias towards OCF Realty. Their fight to acquire blighted and abandoned property and to get it developed and on the tax-rolls has been epic.
For some folks who love to whine and moan and BITCH a lot… none makes them whine and moan and BITCH the loudest when it comes to a motherfucker who knows how to get shit done and isn’t afraid of calling out dipshit stupidity for what it is.
The LotGate battle from last summer wrapped up everything wrong with the City’s approach to land management and focused it with precision right on the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority.
I’m sure the Nutter Administration won’t fess up to this, but Ed Convington’s willingness to stand up to defend red tape and insider bullshit is what helped get him fired. A press conference to defend the legal threats about a fucking horrible City-owned PRA lot–the City’s right to keep a fucking smelly trash mountain intact?