Bloomington Citizens get to Fund Rent

By:  Diane Benjamin

At last night’s Bloomington City Council meeting subsidizing rent in the renovated old Junior High on E Washington was approved.  The subsidy will be coming from the General Fund, not TIF income.  The amount approved was $228,720 over 10 years.

Economic Development Coordinator Austin Grammer stated the Comprehensive Plan calls for affordable housing close to job centers, schools, and community centers.  He claims this project complies since it is close to the library and the BCPA.  There was very little discussion but lots of praise for the project.  The final vote was 8-1.  Jamey Mathy voted No without every voicing a concern:

If Jamey believes it isn’t the job of government to redistribute wealth, it would have been nice to hear him say it.

If he had some other problem with the project, it would have been nice to hear what it was.

Maybe he hit the wrong button.

The entire regular meeting only lasted around 40 minutes.  Half of that was a proclamation by Tari on suicide prevention, swearing-in the new Finance Director, and 2-person public comment.  The meeting felt more like a Normal Council meeting where all votes are pre-planned.

Glen Ludwig was the first citizen to speak, the second was a lady who never got to why she was there because she ran out of time.  It sounded like she expected government to fund her rent because she can’t afford it.  I wonder if she knew she was looking at the people who continue to make rent un-affordable with tax and fee increases, regulations, and inspections of properties that don’t need inspected.  I wonder if she thinks she has no personal responsibility to do whatever is necessary (roommate?) to pay her own way.

To hear public comment – just hit play:

44 thoughts on “Bloomington Citizens get to Fund Rent

  1. If I’m not mistaken, Mathy lives fairly close to the old Junior High on E Washington. Hmmm…NIMBY, perhaps? On a positive note, it appears Barry Reilly’s message of no more TIFs sunk in with Renner. My hunch is that Tari or rather his developer cronies wanted more money, but the General Fund requires taking a direct monetary hit now versus the three-card monte that is a TIF. I’m an optimist, so a slight victory here for the taxpayer. Meanwhile, Austin Grammar, the great economic philosopher…what has he done to help the Bloomington economy? How is low-income housing even remotely related to economic development? News flash, Austin: companies and taxPAYERS are leaving in droves. None of them must be the “right fit”…I’m sure that’s it.


  2. Subsidized housing isn’t “free”. Renters pay rent on scale determined by their income. The largest housing subsidy in the US is the home mortgage interest deduction, which allows homeowners with mortgages on first homes, second homes, and even boats with bathrooms to lower their taxes owed. So tell me who wants their free stuff? I guess also that you approve of homelessness, which this is an attempt to fight.


    1. Part of it is free….unlike the 65% of my real estate taxes that goes to support schools that I have never had a kid in, while some “clown car” mothers/fathers/families have paid nothing and had their income (if they even worked) increased via EIC.


  3. My argument is lame? Because YOU don’t itemize no one will itemize?

    Again, subsidized isn’t “free” which you stated is false. Everyone in subsidized housing pays rents according to their income.


    1. The definition of subsidized is that someone else is paying for part of the expense. In the case of subsidized housing, taxpayers are paying the difference between what the renter pays and the market value of the apartment.


      1. The person in the subsidized housing PAYS rent, so therefore, it isn’t “free” to the person renting. Ms. Benjamin asserted that it was “free”. It isn’t.

        I don’t understand the mean-spiritedness of the people posting here. You really want crappy schools? Good luck with that when you go to sell your house, whose going to buy your house with underfunded schools? Does Ms. Benjamin have two to three unrelated roommates now? Bet not. What exactly does that have to do with anything? Who the heck is she regulate how people live? For someone not wanting “regulations” she sure wants to regulate people’s lives.

        What’s the morality of allowing people to become homeless? Many people in this country are a paycheck away from being homeless, many who are families. It has nothing to do with “personal responsibility”, but onset of a major illness, loss of a job or circumstances beyond their control. I guess Ms. Benjamin and every poster here on this forum would rather homelessness become a larger problem. Then they can rub a homeless person nose in their misfortune and tsk-tsk their disdain and contempt at them. Unbelievable.


      2. Thanks for proving leftist think with their hearts instead of their brains. Paying a reduced rent means money is stolen from other people to make up the difference. No, I don’t have roommates because I worked a lot of years and graduated from college after going part time for many years so I could get a better job. It isn’t my job or anybody else’s to fund somebody’s rent because they didn’t work hard enough of do what that had to do to afford an apartment. Homelessness is choice. Have kids you can’t afford, lose your job and have no skills to get another one, and you too can be homeless. Schools have nothing to do with it other than feeding kids who have parents who can’t afford to feed them.


    2. Based on your statement, then no income means no rent, therefore it is free and your post is not only false, it is pure bovine excrement!

      “Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy. It’s inherit virtue is the sharing of misery.” Winston Churchill

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Who has “no income”? Even someone who is disabled gets some income so they are charged rent. What the heck are you talking about people with no income? I guess making crap is part of this blog. Even the lady in the video had income, so she would be charged rent. Even the most destitute probably has some income so they are charged rent. Even if someone where to have no income, I guess all compassion goes out the window.

        Winston Churchill was wealthy so what did he know about poverty? Nothing. It’s also an inaccurate definition of socialism. When he made that statement he was out of power and pretty bitter about not being in power.

        Did Bloomington seize all the means of production? Did they seize everyone’s land to give away to people with no income? No. Bovine excrement? Look in the mirror.


      2. Winston Churchill wasn’t wealthy when he left office. If you knew history, he came to America to try and make some and got hit by a car. It isn’t government’s job to do anything but get out of the way. I’m sure you hate Trump, but the economy is booming because he did just that. Obama parked his foot on top if it and people suffered for 8 years because of it. If somebody doesn’t have enough income to afford a place to live they have choice: 1) Mke more money 2) Find a really cheap place 3) Share the rent expense with others, as in roommates 4) Move in with relatives. Crying to government isn’t one of the choices.


      3. @Dax—the local government is taxing the most vulnerable to provide government subsidy for 4 apartments in that redevelopment. What is the point of government with high taxes when the people they are supposed to serve are struggling. Maybe, just maybe, if taxes were lower (not just property taxes which renters don’t pay directly) there would be more affordable housing because people would have more money to spend on rent and food.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. There are only 4 units of 57 that will qualify for this subsidy. There was no mention of the average rent per unit in this building renovation. Doing the math, $475/month will be provided to each of the 4 renters. I believe the mean rent in Bloomington is about $1,000/month. Where are these low-income senior residents going to do groceries? Can they afford Green Top? Will they be taking CT to Walmart or Aldi and carrying heavy grocery bags home on the bus? The seniors will also need to be transported to doctor appointments. The Library and BCPA (which low-income seniors can’t afford) are used as Comprehensive Plan criteria? Give me a break…Please!!


  5. “Winston Churchill wasn’t wealthy when he left office. If you knew history, he came to America to try and make some and got hit by a car.”

    And you make crap up also? Try and make some? What does that even mean? Winston Churchill was wealthy and died wealthy. There isn’t a biography out there that states that he wasn’t wealthy.

    “It isn’t government’s job to do anything but get out of the way.” That’s YOUR opinion, not fact. Trump has been in office less than 2 years, not enough time to affect the economy. The economy was “booming” under Obama, which added 17.2 million jobs from the beginning to the end of his term. But Obama created 22.3 million jobs from the worst part of the Great Recession (January 2010) through the end of his term. Also, Trump is lying about the GDP, Take the Obama era for example. Between 2009 and 2016, GDP growth reached at or above 3% on a quarterly basis about eight times. Also the debt under Trump reached $21 trillion, and is set to increase by $559 billion in the current fiscal year so you might want to temper your cheering. The current debt along with the declining taxes is unsustainable.

    I’m also glad that you can run people’s lives for them, telling people what to do is seems to be your specialty. You also have a lack of empathy for anyone who less fortunate than you.

    What if the job the person has pays $10/hr? Even if you had three jobs, that wouldn’t keep a roof over your head. What if you didn’t have family? What if you have children and your family can’t take them in? What makes you assume that people don’t have room mates? You have no idea of anyone situation if your write anything as facile as your post.


      1. Go away permanently? Is that how you handle people? I never said Churchill didn’t come to this country. I was also replying to your bizarre statement “Try and make some”.


    1. If you can not afford them don’t have them. I vote this cow flop to go away as well. I have had my fill today of crying leftist with no responsibility expecting us to subsidize their life while they spit in my face.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. If all those that want to use tax dollars to fix homelessness would just open up their homes and invite the homeless in to their home the problem would be solved . The same for those in the country illegally open the border (threshold) to your home and let those individuals in. Wouldn’t everyone be happy then?


      1. Precisely, the more people dependent on the government for either existence or salary the better, for the government. Also, on the low income housing subject – for the total amount of money they have allotted to this entire project, they could have built 50 tiny houses for these seniors and rent could still be income based, another thing they could do with that HUGE building, and it’s VERY en vogue in some countries, is turn it into a self contained for the seniors, not assisted living per se BUT a clinic or RN on site 24/7, a small grocery store, a small movie theater a cafe, a van/small bus service available for a small fee such as 1-2 dollars a ride, etc Rent could still be held to manageable levels based on income – it’s doable, but it’s not something “our” leftists would ever come up with, oh no, best to pick winners and losers like the 4 big winners who get a full free ride.


  7. Left wing talking points? What I wrote was true about the economy. You can’t dispute the growing debt or the growing inflation under Trump. It’s also true that Trump has been in office for a short time, too little to affect the economy which was booming under Obama. As for “attacking” you make some huge assumptions of people who are less fortunate than you. If I point out your bias, that hardly attacking anything.


    1. You are ignorant about economics. Growing debt? Did you notice the $10 Trillion Obama added? The economy immediately turned around when Trump took office because people and businesses knew he would cut the chains of Obama. Obama created millions more poor people – check how many received food stamps under him. Trump is freeing them by letting the economy create opportunities. If you can’t understand that – go away. common sense is required and so far I don’t see any from you.


    2. I am so embarrassed – I didn’t comment on the earlier Bloomington Library article because Dax was ‘close enough’ to my thoughts but I didn’t realize was nothing but a troll or an establishment stooge. Oh well. Suffice it to say Dax is almost completely wrong in postings on this thread…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What happened before Obama took office? The 2008 economic crash, the worst since 1929. Do I have to site the job and economic under Obama? I can’t because you discount anything that doesn’t fit your narrative. Yes, Obama added 10 trillion because of crash. Also no president comes into office with zero debt, Obama’s debt included debt from the Bush wars.

    Trump has added more than a trillion in 14 months since he came into office.Trump has been in office for only 14 months and he has added 1 trillion to the debt. “Despite the short-term drop in debt, the government is expected to spend $559 billion more this year than it takes in, adding to the debt. Annual deficits are projected to increase to $1 trillion by 2023, and over the course of the decade debt is projected to grow by over $10 trillion.” (Committee for Responsible Federal Budget). Food stamps? Again in 2008 millions of people lost their job, MONTHS before Obama took office. People were on SNAP benefits for a shot period of time it shrunk under Obama when people went back to work.

    It’s really sad the you have to call people ignorant who have different opinions from you.


    1. You might want to note that a lot of the 2008 economic crash was due to Alan Greenspan under slick Willie allowing loans for $250,000 houses to those who made $30,000 a year. Bush failed by not stopping it but he is not the only one to blame. Obama only made it such our grandchildren will be paying for his eight years. However it is questionable this country will still exist then.


  9. And your demeaning of Obama is sad. He’s not president. Trump has been in office 14 months and added 1 trillion to debt. This country will spend $559 billion more than we take in under Trump. So no, spending is not “decreasing” not by a long shot. Actually, TARP laws passed BEFORE Obama took office, not after. Obama “prolonged” the recession? What, he wasn’t working fast enough to get us out of the worst recession since 1929? That’s rich. The fact that we were adding jobs at a very fast clip at the end of his administration belies your contention. “Overall, Obama took over a jobs market in crisis and ended up growing the labor market better than most of the modern US presidents.” Business Insider Jan. 6 2017.


  10. And you know the future? Keep believing what I want? I gave you actual numbers with the fact that we as a country will spend 559 billion more than we take in 2018. We have a major category 4 hurricane ready to slam into the Southwest. The Trump administration took 10 million from FEMA budget to fund ICE.

    There are two more storms in the Atlantic that could turn to major storms and hit Florida or the Southeast again. Taking 10 million from FEMA is incredibly short sighted and foolish.


  11. Again what happened BEFORE Obama took office? The biggest economic crash since 1929. I guess you keep on forgetting that fact.

    President Trump has now amassed his first $1 trillion in debt, — and analysts said it’s just a taste of what’s to come after the tax-cuts and spending spree of recent months.

    “Indeed his next $1 trillion could come within a year, and one analyst said he could soon be staring at $3 trillion annual deficits if things go particularly badly in interest rates. Mr. Trump has already signed legislation that will add at least $2.4 trillion to the debt in the next decade and, should Congress make those policies permanent, could add as much as $6 trillion.” Unlike Obama, Trump doesn’t have an economic crisis on his hand when he entered office so why exactly will the debt increase as much as 6 trillion?


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