Obama's Scheme to Kill Public Housing and Give the Land to Banks

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

For the Obama administration, every bit of public space and property is "on the table" - subject to privatization.  Transfer of public wealth to private hands seems a White House obsession. Next on the auction block: the nation's public housing stock. "This is gentrification and urban displacement on a gargantuan scale."


Obama's Scheme to Kill Public Housing and Give the Land to Banks

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

"Obama would entrust the fates of millions of poor people to the tender mercies of the same criminal-minded class that has destroyed a generation and more of Black homeowners."

President Obama's greatest domestic imperative is the transfer of public wealth and resources to the private sector. He moved tens of trillions of dollars to Wall Street in the guise of rescuing the economy. Hundreds of billions in public funds are scheduled for transfer to private insurance corporations over the next decade or so, masquerading as a health care plan. His support for corporate-backed charter schools and other so-called public-private partnerships has dramatically escalated the privatization of education in the United States. Obama calls it a "Race to the Top." Now, the Obama administration is serving up to corporate vultures the nation's dwindling stock of public housing, with bankers as the ultimate beneficiaries.

The plan is slick, but easy enough to see through - like the president, himself.  Dubbed the Transforming Rental Assistance initiative, or TRA, the scheme would allow banks and other speculators to mortgage public housing, and then raise the rents to ten percent above market value.  The federal government would make up the difference, pumping the people's money directly into Wall Street accounts. Eventually, of course, the feds will halt or cut back payments, and the properties will revert to the bankers, who will sell them to developers and kick out the tenants. This is gentrification and urban displacement on a gargantuan scale - brought to you by the First Black President.

Imagine! Obama wants to transfer to banks and developers tens of thousands of acres of public-owned urban property - home to 1.2 million families, disproportionately Black and brown - all the while subsidizing the banksters' profits with billions of taxpayer dollars. He would entrust the fates of millions of poor people to the tender mercies of the same criminal-minded class that has destroyed a generation and more of Black homeowners and displaced legions of Black renters from the gentrifying cities.

"The scheme would allow banks and other speculators to mortgage public housing, and then raise the rents to ten percent above market value."

Obama wants to transform public housing into a Section 8 subsidy program. That is the kiss of death. Section 8 housing has always been underfunded. In New York City, alone, 10,000 Section 8 voucher holders may not be able to pay their rent because the feds won't come up with the funding.

When public housing defaults on payments to the bankers under the Obama scheme, it will be a second bonanza for Wall Street - which is how billions are made in an economy ruled by parasites who create nothing, but charge a fee for everything.

Those are Obama's kind of people. I'm not just talking about the mega-banks and hedge-funders that backed him to the hilt in his presidential campaign. Obama's closest cronies and former clients from Chicago - including senior advisor Valerie Jarret - made their fortunes milking government subsidized housing programs for the poor until the federal government had to step in and pick up the pieces.

If Obama has his way, speculators will descend on all 3,000 of the nation's public housing agencies, bribing every official in sight in a frenzy of corruption over federal land and subsidies. And the poor will start counting the days before they are put out in the street.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at
[email protected].


Black Families


2010 marks the 45th anniversary of the publication of The Moynihan Report, a controversial document analyzing the conditions of black families in America.  The goal of the report was to communicate ways in which our nation can achieve “the establishment of a stable Negro family structure.”  In light of this blog, how have we accomplish or failed to accomplish better conditions and resources for black families?  How does Obama's proposal to privatize public housing inhibit the stability of black -- and brown -- families?

Tonight on Basic Black, our panelist will examine the state of black families over the past nearly half-century since The Moynihan Report.  Join us tonight at 7:30 on WGBH (Channel 2) or online at www.basicblack.org, where you can also tell us your thoughts on our live chat. 

No such thing as public housing

Somebody's got to pay for housing folks.  Show me one investment where the cost is exactly equal to the revenue that any sane investor would be interested in.  You people live in a fantasy land!  Crappy renters that tear up the propety, fires, floods, winds, hail, age, regulations, legal representation, insurance, all of those and more tear up homes.


Look at what passes for public housing now.  Drug dealers, shooters, wife beaters, drunks, etc...  I'll tell you what.  Get a bunch of public housing residents together right now and buy some dirt-cheap Texas land.  Build the kind of homes you want to live in, connect the utilities, put in sidewalks and parking.  If you can't do for yourselves, you have to take whatever someone is willing to sell you and pay what they demand, period.  That's what it means to be DEPENDANT!

Your racism becomes more apparent by the day

"You people live in a fantasy land."  "You people" meaning who?


You live in a friggen fantasy land, you nitwit.  Cities large and small all over the United States engage in and develop what you stereotypically call ( everything you say is stereotypical, which is relfective of your racism) "public housing."  "Public housing" is subsidized housing you nitwit.  And the subsidies come in all manner:  tax credits, historical tax credits, Enterprise Zones, HUD funding, defraying infrastructure costs, even permit fees.


You live in a fantasy land where all the phoney good white Christians kiss their little white babies good night, oblivious to what goes on in the world, and you feasting on American Exceptionalism bullshit has left you mentally straight-jacketed.


For the record T.T., I don't hate white people in general anymore than I hate any other ethnic or racial group (though close call re: Zionists), I just don't GIVE A SHIT WHAT YOU THINK!  You opinion means nothing, your ignorance and white privilege suffocating.  Go back to Sunday school in your all-white Church.


You talk about dependency ... Blacks will never become "independent" listening to preachy white conservative, do-nothing, wannabe do-gooders, .  Your world and ours are different.  No intelligent, conscious Black person will ever share the world view of  the demented tea bagger.  You could care less about the "independence" of Black folks, you come here acting like the Great White Father spouting paternalistic crap.  We get enough paternalism from Obummer and White Liberals. 


You Tea Baggers are the most ignorant, out of touch people in the US.  You whine and moan about immigration but no one gives census workers more grief at accurately counting White Folks than you all.  Population count diminishing, solution, don't cooperate with the census.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  Don't know socialism from facism, or public housing from subsidized housing.  It's all about "you, you, you," selfish cocksuckers.  Why don't you actually go and read up on what HUD and cities do before spouting your ignorant nonsense.  It's mainly White Boys (developers) who benefit and profit from "public housing" that was the gist of this article in part, but you are too stupid to understand that.  The people building "public housing" are White boys waaayyy smarter than you.  lol  I know, I've worked with them.

Census Shmensus

Many of us frustrate the census as a way to protest bureaucracies.  We see the government as too large and intrusive so we like to thumb our noses at it whenever a chance is presented.  It's not very effective other than to bother a few gub'ment workers but it's gratifying to at least accomplish that much.


It's funny that you call the Tea Party out of touch.  What you're seeing is that we don't play by existing rules.  Consequently, what you don't understand is, that's how a revolution operates.  We use the Republican Party to some extent but even the GOP has to be routed in order to bring this country around to the conservative style of government.


"You people" means you people.  Specifically, people who think they can live in a world that has no respect for productivity and wisdom.  If you think you're going to own a house and feed a family on what you can make flipping burgers, you're an idiot.  If a burger costs 40 cents to put on the counter and you're only charging a buck for it, you only have 60 cents to pay workers, cover the overhead and give the owner a few cents profit for all his risk.  I guess they don't teach that in ethnic studies classes.

No such thing as private housing

Two words: Property Tax.

And you can put that in your independence pipe and smoke it.

Yeah...Lets go there - DEPENDENCE...

I wonder WHOM was DEPENDENT on WHOM to work the fields and man the manufacturing of materials that built the core economic engine in the first century and a half of AmeriKKKa. I wonder WHOM broke dozens of treaties with WHOM to gain a territorial citadel on the world stage. I wonder WHOM is now openly hiring WHOM under the table to do work YOU AREN'T DOING while having a hissy fit about them crossing an imaginary political line in the sand to get here.

Yeah, drug dealers, rum traders, "shooters"(LOL), wife beaters, bankers, drunks, pirates, etc...

Tha fuck outta here.

Social Survivalism: The answer...you decide

Excellent summary by Glen Ford. The transfer of public assets into the hands of the Predatory Class is happening not only in America but in most, if not all, countries throughout the world. It is about time that both black and white realise that they have a common enemy; attacking one another for perceived wrongs only causes animosity on both sides while allowing the Predatory Class to further their agenda. A united front is needed to overthrow the unjust and corrupt parasitic economic system that holds the world in its suffocating embrace. Perhaps Social Survivalism has the answer to the world’s problems? http://www.instituteofsocialsurvivalism.org/Main/What_is_Social_Survivalism.htm

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