10.27.2006

manna... manna reception

manna.org
manna creates affordable housing in the district for those who may not have been able to afford to own their own house otherwise

last night lisa and I got a sitter and attended a silent auction for manna
an excuse to get out of the house
an excuse to get out and mingle with some people from around town
an excuse to bid on things we may not need and may not want all for a good cause

this evening was moderately metaphorical for us
as thursday was the last day for our younger son's baby sitter/nanny
she is moving with her family to Austin Texas
the reason she is moving to Texas... because she can afford a house there
she feels that her children did not grow up in their own house
but she wants to offer a different opportunity for her grandchildren

it is a tad inconvenient that we are losing a babysitter
but... that is not the point
as dynamics change... and maybe it is time for Grant to start in a social daycare situation
our loss is not the true loss
the loss is to the community

a family is leaving a place that they called home for over two decades so that they can buy a home somewhere else
members of a community are leaving all their friends to be strangers elsewhere, because they want to own a home
that is the tradgedy

this family was not introduced to me as someone filling out an application to work for us
these were my neighbors when we live at a different address in the same neighborhood
it was our friendship that grew into a business relationship
we were friends for years before this woman worked for us
her working for us brought her into our house and into our family
we will miss her
hopefully the family settles in nicely in Texas
it is a bold move
but
DC has outprice so many families
their situation is not entirely unique

I wish them luck
and
I hope that organizations like Manna continue to do work that makes it possible for people to stay in a place that they call home
rather than moving some place else because they can afford it

(that said... I grew up in Bethesda.... just because I grew up there does not mean I have some sort of right to live there... that is our capitalistic system... that is growth... that is change... it is not gentrification.... it is just growth)

2 comments:

grrsh said...

in my opinion, this is a density problem. local govts won't zone "homes" in anything but the standard 4 br 2 ba configuration, 8 ft setbacks, 80% lot coverage, etc etc. does anyone really believe this is a land problem? there is way more than enough room in most areas to allow growth and keep prices low.

same problem in california. schools don't have teachers, police departments have officers that commute 2 hours each way, no firefighters living AND working in the community -- not to mention child care, barbers, people to run the hardware store, carpenters, plumbers, and everyone else you need to have a thriving community. once again, IMHO, a massive planning problem. walkable, sustainable, human-scale communities? they are not allowed by our planning commissions. and these planning commissions are implicitly supported by whom? you guessed it -- homeowners with a vested interest in the status quo (read: home values).

perhaps these homeowners need to think about the hidden costs. your home is valuable, but your community is slowing dying. is that really the tradeoff you want? communities that will be unlivable in a generation?

gwadzilla said...

sustainability

it seems that those who are making the decisions are not thinking too far ahead

it is like we are hunter gathers
using up all the resources then pick up and move on

only we have not found another planet to move to
and that mini van called the space shuttle only seats 6 or 7 people
sure it has a dvd player
but that is not enough room for everyone