Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What is so offensive about Holt's lead remarks?

So Secretary Ken Holt got a reprimand from the big boss.
"The secretary met with the governor earlier today at which time the governor expressed his disappointment with the secretary's comments." (State Housing statement) 
By then the secretary of housing already felt the need to make up to lead paint and housing advocates for his remarks that stupefied anyone who has any idea about the issue of lead poisoning, housing and landlord liabilities regarding lead.
Ken Holt, looks and talks like Reagan. His main experience
is 25 years with Morgan Stanley as a portfolio manager. 

A high ranking official that sits on a conference panel of other municipal officials to speak about a topic with a gazillion complications and issues, who when his turn comes to speak, has nothing better to offer than spouting off some urban legend nonsense that a developer friend once told him, such a secretary is a problem.

But worse than this, the story that was ruminating on his mind and made it unfiltered out his mouth, provides a deep view into his own thinking and value system.

A "value" system in which the impediments posed by regulations are a bigger issue than the health of children, a thinking in which poor mothers are "welfare queens" that have nothing else in mind than to defraud the system, a thinking in which mothers are more cynical than developers and landlords, in which victims are perpetrators and in which a good story counts more than evidence. So, that thinking goes, what needs to be done is to help the developers and not those who really need the help.

How flawed this thinking is, aside from the absolutely ridiculous and shameful "example" that Holt gave,  was further highlighted by Kathy Howard, who chairs the legislative committee of the Maryland Multi-Housing Association, which represents landlords. She said:
"What is motivating him to discuss this issue is right on point. He's concerned, and I think many people are concerned, about the need for affordable housing in this state." 
Ah, yes! Indeed, there is a hug affordable housing crisis in this state and all across America. Indeed, a matter of grave concern. But the issue is the lack of quality affordable housing. Not the lack of lead infested dumps for which landlords don't want to spend the money to make them safe for habitation.

Klaus Philipsen, FAIA



You may be interested in my longer blog article about the affordable housing crisis here

No comments:

Post a Comment