Public housing

Do the math: $800 million to ‘end social housing’ is a waste of money (your letters)

For the editor:

Sunday’s Post-Standard article, “Syracuse embarks on an $800 million plan to end public housing as we know it,” should actually be about who benefits from the huge waste of money. Think of it in terms of these calculations on the back of the envelope:

If the project costs $800 million and affects 4,000 inhabitants, as your article indicates, the proposed expenditure is $200,000 per inhabitant. Not per household, per capita. Assuming three residents per household, the expenditures are $600,000 per household. How about buying each family a nice house in Syracuse for $100,000 (goodness knows there’s enough vacancies available), giving them another $100,000 in boardwalk money, and using the remaining $533 million and change to lower taxes for the rest of us, which, for example, is over $1,000 per Onondaga County family. Everybody wins. You can also allocate a small amount of money for remedial math lessons for politicians and journalists. With my plan, you could also sell or lease all of the now vacant and still functional real estate in the 15th arrondissement and recoup even more taxpayer dollars.

What’s really happening here is that politically connected developers and politicians are using the taxing power of government to enrich themselves, with the poor as the fig leaf. Shame on you all.

John D. Kennedy


Also in review: The end of social housing is not something to celebrate (Guest review by Madeleine Hamlin)