by Gerald Lee
There is a force brewing in South Phoenix that is going to transform the landscape. That force is the recent development that is taking place in this land that may or may not be for the better. Previous notions of South Phoenix are laced with negative ideas of the people and environment. These notion stem from the fact that most of South Phoenix has been a place of refuge for minorities and immigrants. The population acquires little money to improve their lifestyles. This causes the area to seem ruined down and terrifying. Recently, the city of Phoenix has decided to renovate this part of town to bring in higher-class people. To obtain this goal, the city has been granting land to developers to build better housing. There are also new government-approved things such as road improvements, the Rio Salado project, and a MVD off of Central Avenue. IN the midst of this new development, one development has been getting a bad image from those who do not understand.
This developmental underdog is the Habitat for Humanity. The other developers seem to think that Habit builds housing for the poor. This makes them believe that Habitat is trying to keep the area in the previous low class environment. This is far from the facts. Habitat does build affordable housing for those in need but they do not provide housing for the poor. The build housing base on the cost of land and materials use in the construction of the homes. The average house they build costs about $70,000. While this is cheap, it is not intended for those that cannot afford it.
Habitat does have certain criteria for those whom they accept as homeowners. Most people do not realize this partially because they are not government sponsored. Habitat utilizes a volunteer work for to keep the construction costs down. This also contributes to the bad image that people have of them.
The larger developers are unwilling to see these facts and continue to frown upon Habitat. In actuality, Habitat may be the small force that drives the area of South Phoenix to become the first rate area that the city wants. I do not foresee the other developers and people ever getting away from the notion that Habitat is evil and is impeding progress. This conflict will continue to wage until the people realize that Habitat does much more good than evil.
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