Monthly Archives: August 2011

PHAR Board Members and “Better Choices”

PHAR Board members Janyce Lewis (2nd from left) and Sylvia Taylor (2nd from right) attended the Better Choices for Virginia press conference with Legal Aid organizer Emily Dreyfus.  They were happy to run into PHAR’s first organizer, Ben Thacker-Gwaltney (now with Virginia Organizing).  The Better Choices for Virginia Coalition advocates for budget reforms, especially improvements  to Virginia’s tax system.  The current “cuts-only” approach to Virginia’s budget needs to be replaced with a balanced approach that looks at how we increase money coming into the system, instead of only cutting services and programs for Virginians. 


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Big Gaps in Wealth Between White, Black, & Hispanic Households

The median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households.  It's 18 times higher than Hispanic households, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly available government data from 2009.

This is the largest gap since the government began publishing this information 25 years ago.  It's more than double the differences in wealth from 1990 through 2010.  Why is this? 

According to the Pew Research Center, the bursting of the housing market bubble in 2006 and the recession that followed from late 2007 to mid-2009 took  much more of the wealth of minorities than whites. From 2005 to 2009, inflation-adjusted median wealth fell by 66% among Hispanic households and 53% among black households, compared with just 16% among white households.

Wealth is defined as assets minus debts.  As a result of the recession, the typical black household had the lowest wealth – just $5,677  in 2009.   The typical Hispanic household had $6,325 in wealth.  The typical white household had $113,149.

To read the full article click here. 



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PHAR Seeks Candidates’ Opinions

PHAR asked prospective Charlottesville City Councilors’ to respond to a questionnaire on rights and opportunities for Charlottesville's public housing residents. Six of the seven candidates vying for the Democratic nomination in the August 20 primary election answered the questionnaire (James Halfaday declined to answer).

PHAR solicited candidate input about several topics, including redevelopment of the city’s public housing, resident involvement, employment, and improving educational outcomes. PHAR will conduct non-partisan voter education with the results of the questionnaire.

Independent candidates for Council will be asked to answer the same questions before the general election in November. Read our Media Release  summarizing the questionnaire and responses.  Click here for all the questions and each candidate's response. 

Keep checking out the PHAR website for more information about the candidates and the City Council election so you can be an informed voter!  And follow us on Facebook at PHAR Charlottesville. 

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C-Ville Story on the Status of Redevelopment

Westhaven community meeting
Several PHAR members were quoted in an August 23rd edition of C-Ville

"Sherri Clarke, CRHA Board member, Riverside resident and vocal advocate for the well-being of public housing residents, is fearful that giving power and authority to a partner will negatively affect the residents. “It appears to be a good idea, the structure of these buildings has been the same for so many years, but I also see a downside,” she says. “The downside that I see is that it appears to be costly…and you are going to have to involve other people to maintain this project and the fear for me as a resident is thinking that the one that puts the most in wants to run the show.”

"Joy Johnson says neighbors are fearful that a denser scenario would “stack them on top of the other.” Johnson, who serves on the CRHA Board, has some reservations of her own. “I’m not for density, but I could be for density if it is going to provide more housing for low-income folks,” she says. “I’m not for density when you are building more Starbucks, when you are building more luxury apartments or coffee shops. I do believe a grocery store is necessary in rebuilding.”

The article talks about the process of redevelopment so far and how CRHA is trying to find funding for this project.

To read the whole article click here

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