Question of the Week: Do We Need More Low Income Housing?


DEBTRecently in a lead article by the Scenic Range News,  Ron Oleheiser, Executive Director of the Grace House, voiced an observation that there is an extreme shortage of low income housing in the area.

Do you believe that more low income housing would be beneficial to the area?

20 thoughts on “Question of the Week: Do We Need More Low Income Housing?

  1. Jimmyj

    First we need to clean house on city leaders and Itasca County Commissioners and vote some people in that want balanced budgets ,,are leaders spending above there means . There the ones destroying the economy in this town and county time to get rid of them


    1. Roger Weber

      I’ve been working for 47 yrs. and during the past 4 yrs. I have been working for less than I did in 1987. Isn’t it time the worker who is paying for all these so called non-workers with their hands out get their fair share of all the free stuff. When the economy gets bad, who do you think should be eating first, the worker or the non-worker? Isn’t it time we start doing as the other socialist counties do? if you have your hand out to the government than the government will finds you a job whether it’s sweeping the streets or picking the trash from the road sides. In socialist countries there is no sitting at home and enjoying your free lunch. If you want to live in your little socialist country state of mind than you need to reap what you sow.


  2. Jimmyj

    I county Benifits cause new people to move into the area and get all the freebies . IM care is a big factor and the list goes on and who pays for it middle class and upper there taxes rise and so does the businesses


  3. Nathan Hale

    We first need decent jobs for people ..this way the tax payer won’t have to cover all the costs for these homes. There are so many businesses empty in this area and closed because of high taxes ..why is this such a problem here??Are our tax $$$ being spent wisely ?? would like to hear your thoughts ..


    1. Nic

      Maybe the city could stop dumping $$ into the flowers pots around town…use that $ towards something else?
      How about this..$ is tight, the rest of us skimp and stretch a dollar but the city builds things like walking trails and raises everyone’s taxes so they have to stretch their $$ further…maybe that’s why these people can’t afford housing.


      1. I agree with part of what you are saying, but as far as the cost of living for many—those that work full time, like myself even, on the wages we all in majority earn around here, cannot afford the cost of rent in Rapids. So what is a person suppose to do? The new apartment buildings in Bovey are not so cheap either. I was very surprised to see how many more apartment buildings were going up on the south end, by the airport. But at what cost? Too many so-called “affordable housing” in Rapids has been totally the opposite.


  4. Carla

    Good question. What are the main reasons for affordable housing? Wages too low..not enough decent paying jobs for the amount of people desiring to improve their living conditions and lives,and lack of businesses staying open due to the inability to maintain salaries and still profit in order to stay open.
    Jay said it right….we need to raise people up. Yes low income housing is a start. Create more jobs, give new businesses incentive to locate here. Tax bases now are not an incentive. Rents are out the roof. No wonder people give up and take their business elsewhere. So, Grand Rapids loses again.



  5. educator

    I think a better group of questions might be these, how does, low income housing, more politely said, affordable housing, get paid for? Does it come from the government, Obama’s stash, higher local taxes, the commercial and industrial tax base, who pays the difference?
    Does it change the dynamic of the community as outsiders come in and take advantage of bettering their lifestyle, as they should?
    As the balance of low income folks to median income folks increases does it drive wages down even further as jobs are short and labor supply long?
    Do the median income folks leave as they watch their property values and net worth drop as appears to be happening here?
    Look at Washington DC, Detroit, Chicago and every city that has ever adopted the Progressive strategy, meaning not DFL, not Republican, but big government Progressive’s where government management, not government labor, has literally raped the coffers to give themselves huge salaries and benefits, it always ends the same way, a bankrupt community. When these so called community leaders tell you they can show you the way shouldn’t we look at their own personal history first?


    1. Lynn

      We could use trail or parks instead of fancy apartments that get away without paying property taxes on, like beacon hill…guess who makes up for a % of what they should pay? Us!
      And fast food joints are min wage jobs. For teenagers unless your a supervisor…
      We need real jobs here…ainsworth shutting down here really hurt us and we are still feeling the impact.
      Freebies have also caused outsiders to move here because they get more welfare.
      I heard a man brag about it to me in Grand Rapids a few years back.


      1. That is what really hurts (and sucks)………..that people get so much handed to them for no reason, but to come into our area. And then they think it is so great. And to then brag about it, is like rubbing it into our faces. That should never happen. And it would be great to see that all be reversed. Give them a limit, and a time-line. Receive it for only so long, then you are off. That’s it. No if’s, and’s or but’s about it. Like they were suppose to have done to welfare recipients that made it a life-long occupation. They were to change it many years back, that they could be on it for only so many years, then be taken off. But so many kept having babies, to stay on it, that they just couldn’t see themselves stopping it for those poor people. And they got to continue anyway.


  6. Jerry Knutson

    You attract more people without jobs here. This does no good when the welfare has to support this. So the people that pay the taxes move out.. Now you will end up with slums…Good Job….


  7. Jay Schires

    At this time yes…but the real solution is to raise people up. The city council should be interested in helping create jobs in the area, getting property taxes under control, and helping the community come together to build more economic opportunity for people in Grand Rapids. I do not disagree with the need being here and really that’s a shame that more is needed when there are things that could be done to raise people up instead of “building” an economy that keeps them down.


    1. I do not believe having lower income-based housing is putting people down, or making it a slum area, or ruining a town. Myself, I do not need it. But if I were single, and having to live on the wages that I make around here, YES—I would be needing it drastically myself. Otherwise I would have no way to afford to live in the housing we do have in this area, because my wages would not cover it for nothing. Let alone, needing the other part of my income to sustain me in other ways, and paying for other bills that people accrue in their lives. I can see why so many are homeless. How can they pay for a place to live in, if they can’t afford it, because it is way too high for their income? You can have housing that charges according to your income. And if someone is worried about it bringing in other people and/or riff-raff, then that could be taken care of, by screening the future residents, and getting addresses etc. to see that they do live in the vicinity.


      1. Change ?

        Or only give low income housing to people who have lived here and worked here so long? Or lived here?What about a limited time period? How do we stop this from becoming a way of life rather than helping someone back on their feet? Or if you live there prove your at least looking for better work (not that there is any)?
        Also, whatever happened to single people having roommates? Renting a room with family? Could some of these people realistically do that? But is it easier to get the freebie and we are just being crappy family for not helping our own assuming they can get “help” that everyone else pays for? How many of us have spare bedrooms or an empty basement but know single people living in these free apartments that are family or friends. We all need to be responsible but quit giving the job over to the govt!


  8. Funny how this topic comes up today, since it was something on my mind!
    Yes—-Grand Rapids is in dire need of a lot of low income housing. Or even rated by their income for costs of rent. All the housing that was constructed in the old Middle School lot, was NOT affordable housing. Those houses were way too expensive for anyone on low or fixed income to afford. The same with the apartments that went up in the old St. Joseph’s Church lot. People with low income checked in on it, and found that there was no way they could afford to live there. This town needs a lot of apartments and housing to assist people in those positions, so they can also find decent places to live, at rates they can afford. Income in this area is not great, and people have to struggle to make ends meet as it is. How can others expect them to afford decent housing and places to live, on such poor income. Too many times, it appears that those of authority, assume our neck of the woods is comparable to the Twin Cities, when we are a far cry from that.


    1. Heather

      When we bought a house
      We bought outside of Grand Rapids but still in the county. Grand Rapids has higher taxes & more expensive homes. We did not want to live in city limits anyways But it also sucks to buy your own home and see people living off welfare get brand new looking apartments to live in! So who is paying for their subsidized housing? I’m not against helping but when is helping hurting? People who won’t work more because they loose cheap housing and free insurance. That’s also becoming a problem. So our real problem is we need Good Jobs here of our area will become rich people and welfare people because the working scraping by people can’t keep up to these taxes!!
      I know every situation is different but
      The real problem is no good paying jobs.
      We need more jobs with affordable insurance and enough $ to support a family.


      1. I agree, that many people on welfare seem to abuse the system, and ruin things for the rest of us that do work hard for a living, and make a wage that barely lets us get by. While those on welfare get so much given to them for free, and they stay on it as long as they can, because they are better off then the rest of us, without working. Seen and heard it directly from some of them, and it is dis-heartening. They have the attitude (some of them) that ‘why should I work…..I can make more money on welfare’. That is not what the system was ever meant to be. It was only to be a ‘help’ until they got out and got on their own two feet. Not something for them to make it a living on, by living off of welfare for all or most of their lives. And it is also hard to find more jobs for people, when they are not available. We do need a better wage to live off of. But to get that, then the stores will have to raise their prices, to cover for their extra expenses. It’s a no-win situation. But we do need to help more people out, here in our own town and local area, that are fighting to find a place to live in that they can afford. On my wages, I could no way afford the costs of rent that places are charging around here. And that is exactly what is happening to many of my co-workers. They have to stay where they are, because they cannot afford to live any place nicer, because their wages just don’t cut it.


      2. anonymous

        Why is subsidized housing brand new when the working people mostly live I. Older homes?
        I don’t think we need any more apartments here. Look around GR these days. There are lots!
        If you want cheaper rent…move to Bovey…it is what it is but its true!
        There are homes for sale everywhere. We need JOBS…not good industry jobs or seasonal…we need Year Round jobs!
        Manufacturing or something instead of sending all our jobs to China and shopping at Walmart!
        We need to be more self sufficient.


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