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July 07, 1977 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-07-07

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/I
The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Thursday, July 7, 1977
News Phone: 764-0552
Our system o injustices
TE PAST WEEKEND'S rash of Ku Klux Klan rallies
and ensuing violence underscored recent actions
within all branches of our government indicating serious
backsliding within the civil rights movement. Yes, racial
hatred is still alive and well in "the land of the free, home
of the brave."
The Supreme Court carries the torch. The Justices
ruled job seniority systems which keep alive the effects
of past racial bias legal, if the intent to discriminate is
absent, and such systems were set up prior to the Civil
Rights Act of 1964. The Justices also ruled that predomi-
nantly white communities need not rezone themselves in
order to make way for low-income housing for blacks or
other minorities.
The Senate, meanwhile, has been busy debating whetler
federal aid could be withheld from communities which
refuse to introduce busing (or other methods to achieve
desegregation), and whether government funds should be
spent to enforce racial quotas designed to give minorities
priorities in jobs and school admissions.
And the Executive Branch is re-evaluating its stance
on busing, racial quotas and housing integration.
HE CRIES OF reverse discrimination whenever whites
feel they have been inconvenienced (i.e., been edged,
out of a job opportunity, or denied admission in the col-
lege of their choice) by racial quotas which put a black
or other minority in the spot the lily-white thinks he-she
deserved grow dangerously stronger.
After centuries of discrimination, segregation, and
hatred, the slight provision of jobs and college education
through quotas systems is but a small step to take.
The average income of blacks is still 40 per cent less
than that of the average income of whites. And segrega-
tion in education, jobs, housing and socio-economic class
is still far more widespread than most whites care to ad-
mit. The problems of racial hatred and racial discrimina-
tion are far from over.
Someday, people will be given jobs or admitted to
schools on the basis of their qualifications only. Someday,
our system might be an open one.
But, until that day, we must use every mode of re-
course, take every step we can to equalize the inhuman
conditions we force upon our minority citizens now. And
with luck, Martin Luther King's dream might come true.

Kleinran's 'land bank'
could.be solution here

Ann Arbor's housing crisis af-
fects local tenants in a variety
of ways: it forces them to
scramble to find one of the few
available places to live in tOwn
when they're getting ready to
move; it forces them to pay
high rents; it forces them to
live in rental units which may
be run by one of the unscrupu-
lous Ann Arbor landlords who
have such charming habits as
refusing to make necessary re-
pairs in dwellings and refusing
to return security deposits.
The reasions for the housing
crisis are as diverse as the
problems the crisis causes. One
important factor is that no
significant housing construction
has been undertaken in the city
in the past ten years. Another
reason is that local landlords
by and sell buildings often;
this raises rents, because when
a landlord sells a building, as
a rule he sells it for a pilofit.
The buyer pays the old land-
lord the profit, and gets the
money to pay the profit by rais-
ing rents.
It will take time to solve the
local housing crisis because it
is a complex problem, and com-
plex problems require complex
solutions. But one advantage of
complex problems is they can be
approached from a variety of
ways. Rent control is a familiar
scheme for taking some of the
squeeze out of the housing prob-
lem. It has been turned down by
the Ann Arbor svters twice, but
here's hoping it's not dead for-
ever: it would mean relief for
Ann Arbor tenants. Rent con-
trol is the best-known approach
to housing reform among resi-
dents of this city, but it's not the
only one.
ROSE KLEINMAN, a Detroit
resident who has been a hous-
ing activist for some twenty
years, has formulated severa
.housing reform plans which
wouldl perfectly suit Ann Arbor's
pioblems. One such- plan calls
for a "Land Bank," was pro-
posed by Kleinman in the mid-
Sixties as a means of rehabili-
tating Detroit. The Detroit city
g1vernment rejected the plan.
The Land Bank schema works
like this: the local government

buys up blocks of property in
or around the city, either land
with buildings on it inside the
city, or undeveloped land in lo-
cations where the city is expect-
ed to expand. The city then sim-
ply holds on to the land and
rents it out for a period of
decades. When land is public-
ly owned like this, rents remain
much more stable than under
private ownership. Because the
buying and selling of property
is a major factor in property
value inflation and this in rent
increases, the city holds rents
relatively low by halting the
buying-and-selling cycle.

in such distant lands as Sweden,
she, has engineered several
schemes which have indeed seen
the light of day. Kleinman is an
ardent backer of cooperative
housing; she gave Ann Arbor's
ICC co-op system a sllot in the
arm in 1968, when she played
a major role in getting the
funds -for the construction of
the North Campus co-ops.
She helped to organize ICC's
1968 conference on co-op hous-
ing, and one of the housing ex-
perts she convinced to attend
was Trevor Thomas, an admin-
istrator in the Federal Depart-
ment of Housing and Urban -De-

ien anti
By
The larger the Land Bank gets
as the city buys more and more
property, the larger the area in
which rents are kept stable.
The cost to the city of pur-
chasing a Land Sank doeen's
have to be higher than the cost
of making down payments on
the property. Rental payments
would cover the cost of the city's
mortgage payments. The city
could even earn a modest psiofit
on the land, while keeping rents
low.

v

Corneir
STEPHEN. HERSH
velopment (HUD).Thomas was
impressed by ICC's proposal to
build the North Campus coops,
and arranged for the $1.24 mil-
lion HUD loan which made the
construction possible.
The expansion of cooperative-
ly-owned housing, and the cre-
ation of a stock of publicly-
owned land, are two options
which should be seriously con-
sidered as ways to beat the Is-
cal housing crisis.
Stephen Hersh, former Daily
Magadine editor, is the com-
munity education director of
the MSA Housing Law Project.

AFTER HOLDING on to the
land until the mortgage expires,
the city could either continue to
rent out the buildings, or con-
struct new buildings on land
which it now owns. Kleinman
wrote, in her Dettoit Land Bank
proposal, "Stockholm, Sweden
has found that bf buying 15 to
25 years in advance of devel-
opment ... and by keeping the
farmers or commercial users
of the land on the land at mini-
mal rentals, not only was the
land paid for by the time it was
needed, but often they had ac-
cumulated enough extra to in-
clude the costs of bringing the
utilities to the land."
Although some of Rose Klein-
man's plans are the kind of
schemes which are reality only

TODAY'S STAFF:
News: Eileen Daley, Stu Mc-
Connell, K e n Parsigian,
Sue Warner
Editorial: Linda Willcox
Sports: Gary Kicinski
Photo: Chris Schneider
Arts: Dave Keeps
Editorials andcartoons that
appear on the right side of
tjse Editorial Paqe ore the
opinion of the a u t hror or
artist, and not necessarily
the opinion of the paper.

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