No income-crime link in Tahoe town |

No income-crime link in Tahoe town

Allen Best

TRUCKEE, Calif. – Do affordable housing projects breed higher rates of crime? That has occasionally been the fear in ski towns, as well as elsewhere, when clustered and dense housing for lower income workers is proposed. A symposium in Truckee addressed the issue, but found no compelling evidence that this is true.Tony Lashbrook, Truckee’s director of community development, pointed to several affordable housing projects built in the last 10 years where crime rates are no different than elsewhere in Truckee. The key, he indicated, is effective on-site management and steady maintenance.Truckee police reported a slightly higher number of calls from mobile home parks and other older, lower-income areas, but those areas have neither on-site management nor are they well maintained.A local women’s services agency said that cases of domestic abuse and sexual assault are found equally in affluent and poor neighborhoods. Academics have also studied the issue, although presumably not specifically at resort areas. The Kirwan Institute on the Study of Race and Ethnicity found that in areas where more than 40 percent of a community lives below the federal poverty level, crimes is more common.Jianling Li from the University of Texas at Arlington’s School of Urban and Public Affairs studied high-density projects, and found a less than clear chain of causality. “I think it is too simple to say directly that low income and high density will lead to high crime rates,” she told the Tahoe World. “There are many other factors.”An effort was also made to equate ski town affordable housing projects with the massive Housing and Urban Department projects found in inner-city Chicago and San Francisco. Lashbrook termed the comparison “laughable.”Durango expects drought, growthDURANGO – Preparing for the population growth ahead, Durango city officials are buying storage space in a major new reservoir being built nearby on the Animas River. They are getting 1,900 acre-feet in storage for what ultimately will cost $5.9 million. But one critic said the water will be unnecessary unless Durango grows to become a city of 40,000, and only then in a drought year. The population is now more than 14,000, although Durango has been busy annexing homes in adjacent areas that had previously been a part of incorporated La Plata County. Vail, Colorado

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