Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Environmental Justice

East Julliette Mill House
Originally uploaded by luxomni
The new head of the Environmental Protection agency is Lisa Jackson is an environmental justice activist. Apparently companies deliberately place their pollution in low income and minority racial areas. I am not sure I buy this chicken and egg argument. Just for starters, no one builds low income housing in expensive areas, nor do they spend the money to build factories in expensive areas. But more than that, with the added price of mandated modern codes, much of the least expensive housing is older housing. While there are some older houses that have been sub-divided to make multiple and affordable family residences, most of it has always been low end housing, now made lower by age and location, like the mill house above. Without taking into consideration how than area like this is further dilapidated by low-end tenants, or how living here is the culmination of a lifetime of choices made by the tenants to pursue the wrong priorities; the truth is that in all real estate, location is everything. And location is the largest component of cost. Increased cost of land would be passed on the the tenant and would end up competing with the environmentally un-just housing to which the tenants would flee.

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