Travis Hyde Properties (THP) must not receive a tax abatement for its proposed development at the former library site. Granting one would waste public revenues and offend the conscience of all Ithacans—and this for two reasons. First, because THP successfully maneuvered to evade an asbestos abatement of the library before its demolition, thereby endangering the long-term health of city residents. And second, THP is building luxury units Ithaca did not ask for and does not need.
Ithaca Democratic Socialists of America unconditionally opposes gentrification, which deliberately displaces poor and working-class people to areas outside the city; and we oppose wealthy profit-seekers who build useless luxury housing. No responsible local government should incentivize the rich to aggrandize themselves by deforming our city’s class demographics and inclusive, college-town character. The working people who will be forced to leave Ithaca due to rising rents constitute an electorate more numerous than the developers driving them out, so the logic of gentrification is undemocratic to its core. For all these reasons, the DSA opposes rewarding THP with a tax abatement for selfishly prioritizing its own interests over Ithaca’s health, and over our urgent and unequivocal need for affordable housing.
Ithaca DSA Affordable Housing Committee: Mario Hernandez, Theresa Alt, Teresa Halpert, Mona Sulzman, Deirdre Silverman, Leslie Brack, Caroline Byrne, Stephanie Heslop
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