SEARCH BLOG: HOUSING
The NY Times writes a poignant tale of the way one noble man's dreams of providing housing to the poor were dashed.
SAN ANTONIO — A grandson of Mexican immigrants and a former mayor of this town, Henry G. Cisneros has spent years trying to make the dream of homeownership come true for low-income families.A politician with poor judgment sees an opportunity to cash in on the housing boom and then argues it was everyone else's fault that things went wrong... how could he have known?
... While Mr. Cisneros says he remains proud of his work, he has misgivings over what his passion has wrought. He insists that the worst problems developed only after “bad actors” hijacked his good intentions but acknowledges that “people came to homeownership who should not have been homeowners.”
They were lured by “unscrupulous participants — bankers, brokers, secondary market people,” he says. “The country is paying for that, and families are hurt because we as a society did not draw a line.”
... After a sex scandal destroyed his promising political career and he left Washington, he eventually reinvented himself as a well-regarded advocate and builder of urban, working-class homes. He has financed the construction of more than 7,000 houses.
... It was, he argues, impossible to know in the beginning that the federal push to increase homeownership would end so badly. Once the housing boom got going, he suggests, laws and regulations barely had a chance.
There are a lot of people and organizations who are asking the same questions. They had such good intentions. Now they are on the road to....