Wednesday, October 29, 2008

what's up the pike: obama country is ugly . . .

Not only can low-income housing, like this Habitat for Humanity project in New Orleans, produce more Democrats - it can look good, too!

- The Gazette tries its hand at election forecasting by looking at who Burtonsville voters have picked in the past. While the precinct served by Burtonsville Elementary School - which covers the Agricultural Preserve north of Route 198 - narrowly voted for Bush in 2000, it's slowly turning blue. A spokesperson from the county Democratic Party says an "influx of lower-income residents" on the east side and MoCo as a whole will translate into more Obama votes.

- Speaking of lower-income residents: the newly-dedicated Habitat for Humanity homes that went up in Linganore Woods (off of Greencastle Road in Burtonsville) are very, very unattractive. They're affordable - $140,000 each, according to the Gazette - which was the intention, but it's demeaning to lower-income families that they have to live in homes that look like they were value-engineered into submission.

Habitat's capable of building attractive, well-designed homes at a low price. Last summer, I visited Musicians' Village (above), a project in New Orleans' Ninth Ward built for artists displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The homes here are derived from traditional "shotgun houses" in the surrounding area, and they blend in well, using bright colors and wide front porches, and well-proportioned facades. They're simple, but because of a few minor details they don't scream "AFFORDABLE HOUSING." And they'll retain that value over time. East County has enough cheap housing that looks cheap - people in need deserve better.

- Check out my weekly column in the Diamondback - this time, I'm writing about the ICC and its effects on my neighborhood in East County. It's loosely adapted from a post that appeared here a few weeks ago.

1 comment:

Thomas Hardman said...

Wow, what do you know.

Years and years of voting Democrat and what do you get? Beehives For Humanity.

Oh noes, o the humanity, weep wail!

And, lest I forget, Oh noes, o the aesthetic horror!

Even an actual giant Habitrail would be architecturally more interesting.

Keep in mind, folks, that every single time you hear the County Council types and their hangers-on talking about "densification", this is what they have in mind. Beehives.

And for twice the price, you get a beehive that doesn't look quite so crappy, but is a beehive nonetheless.

To be honest, the ones built in New Orleans were built as they were because, after all, they had plenty of room in which to build, all previous structures in the area having been wiped off the map by a Category Five hurricane.

Where we live, there's no room... so what you get is beehives.

If that is what you get from Habitat For Humanity, I'd rather cut a deal with Habitrails For Hominids.