To the editor:
(January 2019, Plain Press) My family has made Tremont/or the Southside our home for over 100 years. We have had 17 family members born from this home. This is our generational home. My parents, my mother being the eldest, had the birthright of living in the vacant apartment when they were married. I had two siblings born here. My mother was conceived, born, raised her family and died here. Our home was central base for all family occasions, births, deaths, weddings, etc., and the family members knew to come here first for any and all information.
I am the only one left from the family to be living in this home. A single over 55, retired, female, on a fixed income. Our taxes have been affordable, my grandparents paid $.35 cents a month, during the Great Depression, to keep the house. At this time, myself and many other low income, minority, and senior property owners will be forced out of their generational homes due to high evaluations to our properties and the large tax increases in about two years. All while at the same time developers push five-hundred-thousand-dollar homes or large apartment complexes catering to affluent clients, while pushing full 15-year tax abatement. How is it fair that a developer that builds a 90 plus unit apartment building gets away with no taxes on the building for 15 years, only the land value? Meanwhile my taxes went up from $542.00 a year to over $2,900.00 a year. I live well below the federal poverty level.
Daily, I receive letters, post cards, etc. from predatory realtors and developers to sell my property well below market price. We are being subjected to systemic gentrification and singled out within a perfect storm to eventually be foreclosed on. While Community Development Corporations (CDC) end up getting the properties and turning them over to developers for more profits. CDC’s should not exist anymore in the City. Especially when they allow developers and agents to sit on their Board of Directors.
Does the City or County have answers for us? Are there safeguards put into place for the cast-off elderly among us? Is there somewhere safe for us to live our out our years? I still have a lot of living in me. Where will I go? A resident of the 65 and over community on Fulton was just assaulted and robbed as he walked out of his apartment, just blocks from the Second District Police Station. What will become of us?
Carol, W. 12thStreet Property Owner
Last name withheld upon request