Posts Tagged 'The Habitat Company'

Woods-Funded Developers Get Rich on Privatized Public Housing?

How can rich, powerful, well-connected people make money even when they fail? Maybe that is a secret that they don’t want us to know.

There has been some scrutiny of Senator Obama’s affiliation to certain foundations in an effort to tie the Senator to William Ayers. Lately the discussion has centered around the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (whose records have been sealed by the University of Illinois, Chicago).

While the Senator’s connection to an unrepentant bomb thrower is important, what if all the secrecy surrounding the Woods Fund of Chicago and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge is not just an effort to hide the Senator’s connection to Ayers and to hide the Senator’s record of failure as a community organizer?What if the secrecy is really is really an effort to hide the way politics is conducted in Chicago. Is it possible that money from the Woods Fund (for example, the fund doesn’t accept grant requests from religious institutions, but funded Obama’s church–check the IRS Form 990 PF if you want verification) was used to support developers and money from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge was used to buy influence in the community for the future Senator? 

I am not sure if this has already been checked out, but I’ll throw it out there anyway to see if anyone knows more about it. Democrats love to accuse the Republicans of “socializing the costs and privatizing the profits.” We see this frequently with reference to contracting in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. This, however, looks exactly like what Senator Obama did while distributing money from foundations and what will most likely happen under his great scheme for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (p. 43, Blueprint for Change). This has not gotten much attention, but based on his failure to do anything to improve public housing in his previous endeavors, why should anyone think he will do better on a larger scale? From a Washington Times article in 2007, Obama’s $6 billion poverty platform:

The Illinois senator said he would spend about $6 billion annually, with his first task being to replicate in 20 cities such successful child and youth development programs as the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City and the Town Hall Education, Arts and Recreation Campus in the District, where he outlined his plan.

“I’ll be honest, it can”t be done on the cheap. It will cost a few billion dollars a year,” he said. “We won”t just spend the money because we can — every step these cities take will be evaluated, and if certain plans or programs aren”t working, we will stop them and try something else, but we will find the money to do this because we can’t afford not to.”

Why no mention of his own experience as an organizer with vast sums of money to distribute as an example of success? This led me to wonder why these successful business people would fail so badly when given access to foundation money, government grants and large amounts of investment capital. One theory is that the money that Obama’s old boss got from the Woods Fund for public/private “community” housing development was really just the tip of the iceberg of a plan for Obama’s developer friends who backed his candidacy to get their hands on property that might soon be located right near the proposed Olympic Stadium in Chicago and thus redeveloped with more government and foundation money and most realizing a greatly increased value.    

Obama helped ex-boss get $1 mil. from charity

Grim proving ground for Obama’s housing policy

Community Groups Demand Voice on Olympics

Grove Parc Tenants Achieve Major Victory

YouTube video from Mayor Daley: Chicago 2016 Rally

(Obama speaks at 7:12 about the success of transforming Chicago with the Olympic effort, jokes about property values at 9:44)

From the Chicago 2016 application to the IOC:

Chicago’s Olympic Stadium represents a unique opportunity for the Olympic Movement. At the time of the Games, it will be a dramatic purpose-built athletics stadium that meets or exceeds the ideal standards of the IAAF and key Olympic and Paralympic constituencies. Post-Games, the scaled-down reconfigured stadium will be the centerpiece for the revitalization of Washington Park and Chicago’s South Side. The accessible, community-based venue will be used for sports, concerts and other civic events and can be expanded to host major international athletics events. The sustainable, cost-saving approach of the stadium design could be a blueprint for future host cities

The proposed location for the Olympic Stadium development near Washington Park is right by the properties discussed in the article from the Boston Globe. All these properties are linked to Obama’s financial backers, like those from The Habitat Company, LLC for instance: Daniel Levin and Valerie Jarrett (Obama Co-chair, former Daley staffer and long-time friend of Michelle, vice-chair of the Olympic Committee).  

This is all speculative at this point, but I think it seems like it is worth looking into considering how secretive these foundations are with their records and how little attention has been given to Senator Obama’s record in improving public housing and the lives of those in his former district on the South Side of Chicago.

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