Riding Yellow SE from Wal-Mart/Troup to Bergfeld Center during Reduced Schedule, by J.D. Meyer

Due to the Coronavirus crisis, Tyler Transit has temporarily ended the Green & Purple Lines while reducing times for the other three lines: Red, Yellow, and Blue. Update: The Red Line will follow the Purple North pathway after leaving Bergfeld Center; thus, it will go down Beckham AV and the two hospitals.

Since I need to catch the nearest Yellow SE to Bergfeld Center—Tyler Transit’s second bus hub–I need to work out a schedule.  I’m going to list the times for stops at the Yellow SE line.  Meanwhile, I‘ll acknowledge the gap of time when the Yellow line is in the Southwest.

6:00 am — 8:53 am.

11:22 am – 1:00 pm

3:22 pm – 5:45 pm.

https://www.cityoftyler.org/home/showdocument?id=1484   Yellow Line: Complete Map with Schedule & All Stops.

Reduced Yellow SE Line Schedule

6:00 am – 8:53 am

Yellow SW from 6:00 am – 6:52 am

6:52 Wal-Mart/ Troup

6:50 Golden/VA Clinic

7:08 UT-Tyler

7:18 Reach Bergfeld Center

8:14 Leave Bergfeld Center

8:19 Green Acres Shopping Center

8:29 Wal-Mart/Troup

8:37 Golden/VA Clinic

8:43 UT-Tyler

8:53 Reach Bergfeld Center

No Bus Until 11:22, Leave Bergfeld Center

11:22 am – 1:00 pm

11:22 Leave Bergfeld Center

11:27 Green Acres Shopping Center

11:37 Wal-Mart/Troup

11:45 Golden/VA Clinic

11:57 UT-Tyler

12:07 Reach Bergfeld Center (Go SW)

Yellow SW from 12:07 pm—1:00 pm

No Bus from 1:00 pm — 3:22 pm

Yellow SW from 3:22 pm – 4:10 pm.

3:22 pm – 5:45 pm

4:13 Leave Bergfeld Center

4:18 Green Acres Shopping Center

4:28 Wal-Mart/Troup

4:36 Golden/VA Clinic

4:42 UT-Tyler

4:52 Reach Bergfeld Center

Yellow SW from 4:52 pm – 5:45 pm

Affordable Housing & Increased Interest in Downtown Revitalization in Tyler, Texas by J.D. Meyer

“Affordable housing in Tyler: What do you want to know?The Tyler Loop, an in-depth digital magazine, and the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Tyler’s daily newspaper, are teaming up to help our community better understand a topic that’s on a lot of people’s minds.” My editorial will provide some answers to two of the five questions. “What does affordable housing in Tyler look like today? Where is it?” https://thetylerloop.com/what-do-you-want-to-know-about-affordable-housing-in-tyler-were-reporting-together-to-answer-your-questions/ Furthermore, I will address the “increased interest in downtown revitalization” too.

As a former teacher, who has a HUD-subsidized apartment, I feel compelled to provide information and maybe some commentary. Furthermore, I have been volunteering with the East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN) for several years, and their Housing Committee provides these findings. http://www.ethnn.org/housing.html

The WorldPopulationReview.com http://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/tyler-tx-population/cites the census for its statistics on average income and rent. The Tyler Texas 2019 population estimate is 105,729. Tyler median household income is $46,463/year, and the median rent is $864/month. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/  Spending no more than 30% of your income on rent is acceptable; this figure is only 22.21% on rent. Yet the average earnings are only $31, 414/year. According to this figure, we spend an average of 33% on rent. Poverty is 20.21%.

Section 42 Internal Revenue Code makes apartments affordable through cooperation of private industry and the federal government. Even if I wasn’t on HUD, there’s a smaller discount for those looking for affordable apartments. My complex has the plaque on an office wall. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-Income_Housing_Tax_Credit

Here’s a list of 20 Low Income apartments in Tyler. Our listings include:
  1. HUD apartments
  2. Section 8 apartments
  3. Public Housing apartments
  4. Non-profit senior and family low income apartments
  5. Low income tax credit apartments (LIHTC)

https://www.lowincomehousing.us/TX/tyler.html

This should represent a good start for a study of affordable housing in Tyler. Tyler attracts a wide age range through its three colleges, and it is a senior welcoming city. Healthcare, with its two large hospitals and many different types of doctors, is the leading employment field of the city. https://livability.com/tx/tyler Cities like Tyler are nicknamed “Eds & Meds” economies.

Now let’s look at Downtown Tyler and the interest in continued revitalization. It began with the Heart of Tyler https://www.heartoftyler.org in 1987. It became a Main Street program in 1990. The Main Street 4-Point Approach is Organization, Promotion, Economic Restructuring, and Design. Tyler Center is Houston ST on the south, Beckham AV on the east, Palace on the west, and Bow on the north by https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/tx/tyler/city-center.   This website analyzes the real estate situation. Nearly 1/3 of rental properties are small 2, 3, or 4 unit apartment buildings—higher than 95% of the USA. Median real estate price is $73, 655—less expensive than 90.5% of Texas. Rental price is $953/month, better than 81.7% of Texas. The majority of the Tyler Central population is low income—more than almost 94% of the USA! More people are moving to Downtown Tyler, as almost 98% didn’t live there five years ago. At 25.6%, the real estate vacancy is higher than 91.5% of the USA.  To conclude, Central Tyler should continue to draw in more residents.

This analysis of Downtown Revitalization could have focused on a variety of factors—such as the Art Gallery, restaurants, murals, etc. However, I chose to analyze who actually lives there and why you could move there too.

Walkability, by J.D. Meyer

Let’s explore walkability—a key concept in urban studies/planning. Does your city have enough sidewalks—especially downtown? Downtown Tyler, Texas has a commendable Walk Score of 72, but the overall city only scores 35. https://www.walkscore.com/TX/Tyler  I’ve lived in four Tyler neighborhoods; walkability scores range from 24 to 66. Midtown/Hospital District is the best (66), and Hollytree in South Tyler is the worst (24).. Suburban sprawl is based on the domination of cars, and that leads to more traffic and air pollution. Can you easily walk to nearby bus stops?

The only time I really love the term—conservative—is when it’s preceded by the adjective: “fiscal.” I’m not the kind of liberal who would claim a need for concrete sidewalks on both sides of virtually all streets—unless it’s downtown. As long as one side of a major street has a paved sidewalk, your walking experience will be adequate. Moreover, flat land could get away with a trimmed dirt path through the grass. Not just a bus rider, I have considerable experience walking in Tyler—mainly in Midtown (66), Downtown (72), North Tyler (49 & 55), and Southeast Tyler (31).

Sidewalks could be downright dangerous if the land is slanted at a 45 degree angle! Hopefully, the pedestrian would have crossed the street by that time. On the other hand, a hilly path like across the street from Shiloh Road Learning Center could be a hazardous walk without paving or a trail. I recall a sidewalk in Midtown that was dangerously broken, and it could have been improved with some asphalt. Furthermore, bus ridership can improve with good sidewalks on the way to the bus stops.

Let’s hope my observation as a bus rider/pedestrian helps in our development of walkability. Check out this most walkable cities article with a map (at least a 100K population). http://www.governing.com/topics/urban/gov-most-walkable-cities.html

 

 

Midtown Pantry: Convenience Store/Valero Gas Station Finally Re-Opens in Tyler, Texas–by J.D. Meyer

The Midtown convenience store/Valero gas station re-opened on at 720 S. Fleishel Ave; Tyler, TX 75701 on Sunday, April 22nd. Located on the southeast corner of S. Fleishel & E. Dawson, it’s called Midtown Pantry by White Oak Pantry—a company based largely in Arkansas. It’s across the street from the new Christus Trinity Mother Francis 6-story parking garage.

The store went through extensive repairs after closing many months ago—including its sewers. Now it’s a snack grocery store (lots of chips) with a taco restaurant that sells beer and wine too. The beer selection is extensive with budget beers along with higher-priced beers. Midtown Pantry sells the strongest alcohol beverages for take-out in Tyler—Wild Irish Rose wine (various flavors) and some simulated liquor drinks—all at 17% alcohol.

Your soft tacos can be on corn or flour tortillas. The meat filling choices are coarse ground beef, chopped pork, and chopped chicken and coarse ground sausage— all mildly seasoned. The topping is a blend of sautéed sliced bell peppers and onions. Red and green salsa is available too. I bought four fried jalapenos stuffed with melted cheddar cheese for $1. Thanks to their first Taco Tuesday, my beef taco on a corn tortilla with bell peppers and onions was free! But they’ll be $1.99 from now on.

Midtown (The Hospital District) now has a wonderful new store that’s really close to both hospitals–Christus Trinity Mother Francis (TMF) & UT Health East Texas—formerly known as East Texas Medical Center (ETMC), as well as Pulmonary Specialists of Tyler, also on Fleishel. The Midtown Pantry and its location exemplify the “Eds & Meds” economy of Tyler, Texas. Cities with dominant industries of colleges and hospitals attract restaurants. Furthermore, the population of Tyler is just over 100K, but it swells to 250K during the day from those living in nearby rural towns coming to work or to see the doctor. I will return, and you should check it out too.

Xing Tan of Guizhou, China & his Plans for Tyler, TX: My Take for Assistance, 4th Edition—by J.D. Meyer

1. http://www.scmp.com/tech/enterprises/article/2102390/apple-build-massive-data-centre-chinas-new-hi-tech-hub-guizhou Apple built a data center in Guizhou’s capital city—a poor area in China!

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guizhou General info on Guizhou, China.

3. https://www.corporationwiki.com/p/2rgbt0/america-hongyun-city-international-enterprise-group-llc Xing Tan’s (aka. Zhixing Tan) concept of Hongyun City

4. Here’s my article that’s a response to the 2010 Industry Growth Initiative (IGI) in favor of starting a branch of the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) program at UT-Tyler. UT-Austin has had this consortium for decades. My article ended up at the University of Toronto’s Creative Class consortium, directed by Dr. Richard Florida.

Click to access Intellectual%20Entrepreneurship%20at%20The%20University%20of%20Texas.pdf

5. http://www.asiamattersforamerica.org/china/data/sistercities Nine Texas cities have Sister City relations with 12 Chinese cities. Laredo leads with three, & San Antonio has two. Fort Worth is Sister Cities with Guiyang in Guizhou province. Xing Tan is from Guizhou! ……….Check out East-West Medicine sites; many are in California.

6. http://www.chinatourguide.com/guizhou/index.html Norway & Guizhou, China started China’s first ecological museum. Lots of tea is grown in the province too.

7. http://emwcenter.com/ East Meets West Holistic Center Based in Los Angeles, the center treats depression & anxiety, weight management, stress, pain management, women’s health, and fertility. … Acupuncture, Mindfulness, and maybe Yoga are a slam dunk! Tyler has many of those types of medical facilities.

8. https://venturebeat.com/2018/02/25/how-universities-could-drive-more-innovative-research-to-market-and-share-in-the-profits/ A venture search fund model was developed at Stanford. This article was liked by UT-Tyler’s Graduate School after I posted it on Facebook!

9. http://www.forerunnercollege.com/en/Menus.aspx?id=22 Check out Guizhou Forerunner College and its corporate partners!
“GFC prides itself on partnering with a range of corporations and institutions. These partnerships aid to promote a rich learning environment for students. Businesses such as Marriott International, HTC, Lenovo, Baidu, Ecological Agriculture Co. Ltd, Red Cross Foundation and Chengdu Industrial College work closely with GFC students by providing material, job placement and internship opportunities.”
10. https://www.asbestos.com/blog/2013/12/16/traditional-chinese-medicine-herbs/ Using Traditional Chinese Medicine to Treat Lung Cancer Approximately 133 Chinese herbs have been historically used to treat lung cancer. The herbs used most frequently for lung cancer tend to exhibit healing effects on the lungs and stimulating effects to the immune system. Here are the top 6.

11. http://www.scmp.com/tech/china-tech/article/2127841/how-one-chinas-poorest-provinces-morphing-world-class-hi-tech-hub More news on Guizhong Province becoming a hi-tech hub and experiencing the 2nd highest increase I GDP among China’s provinces.

12. https://www.jiangtea.com/green-tea/meitan-cuiya-guiding-yunwu/#.WrPacLgpXCc The green tea of Guizhou grows well because of the lack of air pollution in this Chinese province.

13. http://www.freepatentsonline.com/D432868.html Polyhedral bowl by Zhixing Tan of Zunyi City. Check out a patent by Zhixing Tan (aka. Xing Tan).

SOL18: Report on TX SILC Transportation Works Summit to ETHNN Transportation Cmte, Part 1 by JD Meyer

I attended the 2nd annual Transportation Works Summit in Waco, TX “Collaboration & Connectivity” on Thursday, January 25 through Friday, January 26th in Waco. Last year’s conference was in Austin, and the theme was “Identifying & Removing Barriers through Innovation.” Major topics included city transit, paratransit, Uber and Lyft, violation of parking for the handicapped, and sidewalk concerns. If there was less dependence on cars, there would be increased efficiency and safety because there would be fewer cars on the road.

The first speakers were from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Their topic was “Emerging Issues & Advances in Accessible Transportation.” Low-vision people can be helped through Smart Cane Assistive Navigation (SCAN). Pathway Solutions for wheelchairs examines sidewalk conditions and curb cuts. Carnegie Mellon developed smart phones with traffic signals.
Houston METRO has 12 routes with 2400 stops and aspires to have 9600 stops. Plus, they’re being funded by Google! Houston also has a paratransit feeder service pilot program. It serves an area within a ¾ mile area around fixed routes, as well as beyond the required area. Capital Metro of Austin’s grant application, Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP IDEA), integrates transit and pedestrian planning. The technology is Open Source, so anyone can use it. San Antonio has a bunch of bond initiatives, including sidewalks.

The speaker hoped that someday sidewalks would be viewed as important as roads. Later we heard from Brian East, that sidewalks built after 1-27-92 must have curb ramps. Brian East works for Disability Rights Texas.
As for other states, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has a paratransit agreement with Uber and Lyft. Washington Metro Area has an on-demand paratransit that’s partly subsidized and allows service animals. Some places are experimenting with autonomous vehicles; that means they can drive themselves without a driver. Texas A&M has low-speed autonomous vehicles that are golf cart look-alikes for its giant campus. Automated Vehicle proving grounds are in seven Texas cities: Arlington, Austin, Bryan-College Station, Corpus Christi, Huston, and San Antonio.

Wheelchair passengers riding planes is a concern as a staggering 98% of them don’t travel by plane. However, more children would survive a plane wreck than a car wreck. Qstraint is the leader of wheelchair tie down services, and it’s passed a 20G crash test—doubled in eight years! Wheelchair test criteria examines if the rider would be thrown out of a plane, fall over on its side, be ripped away from the floor, and if the straps were adequate. Partnerships have developed between airlines, plane manufacturers, wheelchair manufacturers, and universities. Recall that Collaboration & Connectivity was the theme of the 2018 transportation summit.

At the Lunch Panel, we found out that Texas is a leader in accessible buildings. There have been efforts to move into rural areas with Uber and Lyft because the drivers would have their own vehicles. Public transport is stronger when cities are bigger. It’s expensive for transit to run paratransit.

Upon hearing that paratransit can be hampered by a lack of funds, when I returned to Tyler, I proposed that we look for the for-profit businesses that would have a vested interest in paratransit and get a tax deduction for donations! “Eds and Meds” place like East Texas Medical Center (ETMC) and UT Health-NE are the most obvious. But how about banks? Tyler has a bunch, and it could be really good public relations. Then a lawyer friend suggested looking for businesses that have a large percentage of employees using Tyler Transit as possible donors.

NuGlarus Initiative of Switzerland, by Roberto Balmer (Translated from German by Google)

“The NüGlarus initiative wants to create the digital canton and build up innovation clusters. And then become a national model.

An initiative supported by industry and the private sector wants to use the rapid digital development in Glarus to make the canton attractive for start-ups. The young companies are wooed with the favorable tax foot which the rural community has just passed. At the same time, however, firms in the canton should also receive support for the economic changes that are likely to occur with digitalization. The initiative, organized as an association, is presented in the Glarner dialect as “NüGlarus” with the website of the same name, and not only started with initial private and company members, but also with concrete technical projects.

The initiative, launched as a non-profit organization, does not have its own office and all inquiries are processed online, promises
,
Companies, the administration and the private, to use development opportunities and niches. In the end of 2018 Glarus will be able to access the “fastest and cheapest data highway in the Alps”. Furthermore, new startup services will be rolled out and so-called co-working opportunities will be realized in all major locations in the canton. As the board of directors of Roberto Balmer explained on request, it is concretely about bridges, Glarus, Schwanden, Näfels and Linthal.

The fast data highway in detail
The good tax conditions for start-ups that want to settle in the canton are, moreover, determined by the government, which is represented as an observer through its business support. Balmer explained that the government had agreed on a quick and uncomplicated settlement, which did not presuppose the establishment of a company.

In addition to taxation, NüGlarus also promotes the deep space costs, the wide range of local services and good networking with local companies.

Ivan Büchi, privately in the steering committee of the initiative of dedicated head of the digital office of Glarner Kantonalbank, explains the specifications of the planned data highway. It will consist of a redundant network that provides the cloud connections with 0.5 milliseconds to data centers up to 80 kilometers away and delivers 2.5 milliseconds to all other Swiss data centers. It has already been implemented for the Glarner Kantonalbank and is now being expanded by Glarus (TB.glarus) and HIAG Data, with the result that the entire canton is now fit for new, eg cloud-based business models.

Discounts and expansion plans
NüGlarus also lures its members with discounts for offers of participating companies. It is always about innovation projects. For example, the first NüGlarus partners already promise special prizes, such as the telecom sector, premises for virtual collaboration, or for the field of hololens or special drones. At the same time, private persons can benefit from the Internet, TV and telephony. NüGlarus promises to expand its partner offerings on a continuous basis.

Mit-Initiator Balmer emphasizes that you have found strong support in the last few days. But it was necessary to support further Glarner, Neuglarner, Heimwehglarner and sympathizers. “Our instruments and fuel are ideas, networks and financial resources,” he adds. “As long as so many innovative sponsors, partners as well as private and company members join us, we can do something and will continue to engage with the initiative.”

As an ambitious one, one can describe the plan to make the initiative “nationally” a model for other regions. NüGlarus writes in any case that the expansion is already in the pipeline.

Currently, the HIAG Data initiative, TB.glarus and Netstream are active as telecom partners. In addition, the Rapperswil University of Applied Sciences, as well as Linklabs, IT service provider Glaronia, co-working provider Ungleich, the video producer BSV and the consultant ob8. (VRI)”

PROPOSED BUDGET CUTBACKS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING & URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD), 2nd Edition

May 16, 2017 by bohemiotx under Department of Housing & Urban Development, urban planning, urban studies

The Trump HUD Proposal
Trump’s budget proposal has severely threatened the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) would be destroyed. Apartment rent subsidies for the poor would be in trouble too–especially since it’s a federal-only program, unlike Meals-on-Wheels. Let’s check an article from The Atlantic on this proposal–Sadly it was on March 16, 2017–my birthday.

“It also eliminates funding for the HOME Investment Partnership Program, which provides grants for low-income people to buy or rehabilitate homes, and the Choice Neighborhoods program, which provides grants to organizations attempting to revitalize neighborhoods. The proposed budget also eliminates the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which coordinates how 19 federal agencies respond to homelessness.” There would be cutbacks from two other departments: Education and Health & Human Services “How Trump’s Budget Would Impact Cities’ Poorest Residents” https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/03/trump-budget-hud/519870/

Carson’ s Confirmation Hearing for Secretary of HUD
However, two months earlier at Ben Carson’s confirmation hearing for Secretary of Housing & Urban Development, The L.A. Times summarized, “For worried Democrats, he gave assurances that he would not try to strip programs like rental assistance and said he wanted to intensify efforts to remove lead and other hazards that harm children living in older housing.”
“When it comes to entitlement programs, it is cruel and unusual punishment to withdraw those programs before you provide an alternative,” Carson said. Carson proposed he wanted to get businesses and faith groups more involved in helping people in HUD-backed housing, and find ways to enlarge the role of private industry in backing home mortgages. http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-carson-hud-20170112-story.htmlBen Carson at Confirmation Hearing (HUD)

Apartment Subsidy Experience in Tyler
A Neighborhood Services inspector checked my efficiency–my fifth annual inspection. This time, I was required to scrub my oven and change the oven pans. Otherwise, it was adequate from my side. Meanwhile, the apartment’s maintenance man got a report on repairs–such as weather-stripping for the door and replacing an outlet. I utilized my social skills by turning down the news and turning on some Tejano music for the maintenance man and myself. A few days later, the apartment manager signed for the repair completion. We have monthly insecticide sprays too, so the apartment better pass inspection on a monthly basis to avoid fines.
I brought my annual apartment subsidy paperwork to our Neighborhood Services office, located on West Gentry & Palace on the North Side. While I waited for the Green South bus, I not only ate and shopped, but copied information on the Community Development Block Grant program.
Let’s start with the definition of how Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) funds are used. They “may be used for public facility and infrastructure improvements in low income areas. The funds are concentrated in the annual ‘target area’ for a variety of projects, including street renovations, curbs and gutters, sidewalks, and water, sewer and drainage improvements.” Park improvements may be to create new parks or enhance existing parks. There’s also a Home Buyer Assistance Program that includes using the voucher towards buying a house, provided the individual completes Home Buyer Education workshops. Here’s the description of CDBG on the City of Tyler website, including eligible and ineligible activities. http://www.cityoftyler.org/Departments/NeighborhoodServices/CommunityDevelopment/CDBG.aspx City of Tyler: Neighborhood Services, CDBG

Conclusion
As you can see, these HUD programs are relatives of infrastructure repair programs. My voucher keeps me from spending over half my SSDI (disability) check in rent. At least I have one more year. I can only earn $120/month and still keep Medicare D. My COPD has improved from severe to moderate in the past year, contrary to folk belief that we either get worse or stay the same. Let’s save these fine programs in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by Congress voting against these proposals.
Excuse me for adding new information to a conclusion, but I received an article from Andrea Wilson entitled, “Congress Reaches Deal on FY17 Spending,” http://nlihc.org/article/congress-reaches-deal-fy17-spending We have a reprieve for the rest of 2017; none of the drastic cuts were approved because Congress wanted to avoid a shutdown. Mrs. Wilson works for PATH (People Attempting to Help), and she volunteers with me at ETHNN (East Texas Human Needs Network)–but in the housing committee. We may not be out of trouble yet, but the midterm elections in 2018 may help us. At least, Secretary Carson expressed an interest in looking for assistance from local business and faith groups, as well as private industry. Efforts to help the poor would need to come from local sources more often. Neighborhood Services has always been a jewel for the City of Tyler.

SOL 17: City Planning Meeting

I attended a city planning meeting about the widening of I-16, an east-west street north of Tyler that turns into Hubbard, once it hits Lindale, the most expanding town in East Texas. This road crosses the northern boundary of Hideaway Lake. It’s north of I-20, a major highway that goes to Dallas. I was invited to attend the meeting by the Director of the Transportation Committee of the East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN).

I took the opportunity to voice my concerns about raggedy sidewalks. Currently, sidewalks may not be repaired with asphalt. I’ve suggested twice that we start by applying a strip of asbestos when on cement block is higher than the next block. This would prevent tripping. A nurse friend broke her hand under such conditions a couple of years ago! Alternatives to the car must be nice, not just possible. The poor will put up with torn up sidewalks because we have no choice. But more bus riders would relieve street congestion.

Once again, I suggested that bike racks be installed at the central bus hub near Downtown Tyler on Oakwood, as well as at the Bergfeld Center in the south.

Anyway, I took a bus to get most of the way to the meeting, but I walked home–a distance of 1.1 miles. Is that COPD Olympics or what?…lol

Proposed Budget Cutbacks to the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)–Including the End of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

The Trump HUD Proposal

Trump’s budget proposal has severely threatened the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) would be destroyed. Apartment rent subsidies for the poor would be in trouble too–especially since it’s a federal-only program, unlike Meals-on-Wheels. Let’s check an article from The Atlantic on this proposal–Sadly it was on March 16, 2017–my birthday.

“It also eliminates funding for the HOME Investment Partnership Program, which provides grants for low-income people to buy or rehabilitate homes, and the Choice Neighborhoods program, which provides grants to organizations attempting to revitalize neighborhoods. The proposed budget also eliminates the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which coordinates how 19 federal agencies respond to homelessness.” There would be cutbacks from two other departments: Education and Health & Human Services
How Trump’s Budget Would Impact Cities’ Poorest Residents

Carson’ s Confirmation Hearing for Secretary of HUD

However, two months earlier at Ben Carson’s confirmation hearing for Secretary of Housing & Urban Development, The L.A. Times summarized, “For worried Democrats, he gave assurances that he would not try to strip programs like rental assistance and said he wanted to intensify efforts to remove lead and other hazards that harm children living in older housing.”

“When it comes to entitlement programs, it is cruel and unusual punishment to withdraw those programs before you provide an alternative,” Carson said. Carson proposed he wanted to get businesses and faith groups more involved in helping people in HUD-backed housing, and find ways to enlarge the role of private industry in backing home mortgages. http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-carson-hud-20170112-story.htmlBen Carson at Confirmation Hearing (HUD)

Apartment Subsidy Experience in Tyler

A Neighborhood Services inspector checked my efficiency–my fifth annual inspection. This time, I was required to scrub my oven and change the oven pans. Otherwise, it was adequate from my side. Meanwhile, the apartment’s maintenance man got a report on repairs–such as weather-stripping for the door and replacing an outlet. I utilized my social skills by turning down the news and turning on some Tejano music for the maintenance man and myself. A few days later, the apartment manager signed for the repair completion. We have monthly insecticide sprays too, so the apartment better pass inspection on a monthly basis to avoid fines.

I brought my annual apartment subsidy paperwork to our Neighborhood Services office, located on West Gentry & Palace on the North Side. While I waited for the Green South bus, I not only ate and shopped, but copied information on the Community Development Block Grant program.

Let’s start with the definition of how Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) funds are used. They “may be used for public facility and infrastructure improvements in low income areas. The funds are concentrated in the annual ‘target area’ for a variety of projects, including street renovations, curbs and gutters, sidewalks, and water, sewer and drainage improvements.” Park improvements may be to create new parks or enhance existing parks. There’s also a Home Buyer Assistance Program that includes using the voucher towards buying a house, provided the individual completes Home Buyer Education workshops. Here’s the description of CDBG on the City of Tyler website, including eligible and ineligible activities. http://www.cityoftyler.org/Departments/NeighborhoodServices/CommunityDevelopment/CDBG.aspxCity of Tyler: Neighborhood Services, CDBG

Conclusion

As you can see, these HUD programs are relatives of infrastructure repair programs. My voucher keeps me from spending over half my SSDI (disability)check in rent. At least I have one more year. I can only earn $120/month and still keep Medicare D. My COPD has improved from severe to moderate in the past year, contrary to folk belief that we either get worse or stay the same. Let’s save these fine programs in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)or find alternatives. At least, Secretary Carson stated he’d look for assistance from local business and faith groups, as well as private industry. Efforts to help the poor would need to come from local sources more often. Neighborhood Services has always been a jewel for the City of Tyler.