Welcome to another episode of the AccessLocal.Tv Podcast. On this show, the latest Neighborhood News Correspondents talk what their ideal living environment would be like. Their comments and opinion may surprise you! Feel free to chime in with your opinion on the discussion in the comment section below!
What makes a neighborhood “wealthy”? This question has been asked many times and many people have attempted to provide a reasonable answer. Some think it’s the work that the community does, some data shows that the racial makeup of an area has a say in what makes a neighborhood rich or poor. According to an article by Vox, an independent online media outlet, living in a poor neighborhood can perpetuate an unending cycle of hopelessness and diminish one’s ability to ever gain wealth.
According to Vox, racist policies during the civil right era still have significant ramifications into today’s world. One example provided was the U.S Federal Housing Administration in Detroit during the mid-1900’s. The FHD refused to support African-American or White developers that wanted to develop an African-American neighborhood. The FHD only gave the loan needed to begin construction to the developer once a “6-foot-tall, half-mile-long wall” was built to segregate the White and African American neighborhoods. Even today, the disparity within those two neighborhoods are still significant to this day.
Could it be that the same has happened to people in Sacramento? When the Sacramento wealth statistics are looked at, it shows that most wealthy neighborhoods are predominantly populated by White people while the poorer areas are predominantly home to African Americans, Hispanics, and other races. The average household income of a Sacramentian is roughly $48,000 per year, with income averages closer to $90,000 in neighborhoods with a higher proportion of White people. On the other hand, the average household incomes of African-American communities are closer to $20,000.
To some Sacramento residents, the culture of division is what has always been.
“When you put a person who makes a million dollar [house] next to a person who makes twenty thousand dollars, there will be a problem,” says Mr. Martin Young, a Sacramento school district psychologist with the Sacramento City Unified School District. While residents and advocates work towards changing these situations, the change comes slowly because after a community is developed it is difficult to transform it all the way down to its foundations.
Note: Repeated attempts to get a comment from the City of Sacramento Planning Department before deadline were unsuccessful.
Carly Wipf affordable housing, families, food, going green, green, low income housing, Mutual Housing, Non-Profit, nutrition, rooftop farming, rooftop garden, subsistence farming, Urban Farming, urban gardening, urban island effect, urban planning 0 Comment
Those living in the city may not need to travel far to catch a glimpse of modern agriculture. Sacramento non-profit Mutual Housing has plans to
trade in fields for rooftops.
The organization recently received a $40,000 grant from Enterprise Community Partners Inc. in Maryland to design a seven acre affordable housing development in South Sacramento where roofs will support gardens.
Mutual Housing Executive Director Rachel Iskow explains the wide variety of benefits people of low income areas can expect from this project. This new mix of architecture and agriculture could become a learning tool for youth that encourages healthy eating. “Children who understand how produce is grown and participate in the process are more likely to enjoy consuming produce,” says Iskow. Using the rooftop gardens as a means of food production can provide resources to families for subsistence farming, increased access to nutrient rich food, and more job opportunities for locals.
The surrounding environment can also anticipate some changes in the near future.
“Our environmental crisis calls for out of the box thinking and building,” say Iskow.
One of Mutual Housings main goals is to find solutions that will assist in closing the Green Divide, a division due to the lack of green infrastructure in low income areas supporting high minority populations. Integrating rooftop farms will help reduce CO2 levels, storm water runoff, and warmer city temperatures caused by the Urban Island Effect.
Despite the strong enthusiasm the organization has for this project, obstacles still stand in the way of making the dream a reality including lack of funds, resident and staff education, proper permits, and transportation of materials to rooftops.
“The benefits to the individual residents and to the community at large are many, however, and make it worth pursuing this vision,” says Iskow.
“We hope that many in our region will benefit from our research, design, and ultimately, if funding permits, our successful implementation of a working rooftop farm in our planned South Sacramento Mutual Housing Community.”