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Thursday, September 07, 2006

DEAD END STREET by Nancy Osterman

Nancy left this comment under the post titled "Another victim of code enforcement"by Tim Ciani. Nancy makes a good point so I thought I better make a topic of it.

Consider the dilema of a homeless person trying to get off the streets of St.Paul. The cost of moving from a shelter to an apartment has now become a sum that is beyond the means of someone with minimal skills and serious personal problems (which I must add is what St.Paul is trying to rid the city of). Is it surprising then, that most homeless opt for drugs or alcohol rather than work? With the chasm seperating them from the bottom end of the housing market they can hardly be blamed for giving up, resigning themselves to a life of dependency on the street or in a shelter.

The housing market needs to be changed so that its lowest rung is no longer out of reach for the homeless. The existence of a “housing gap”—the failure of the market to provide housing of a type and quality that the very poor can afford—is not a natural or inevitable phenomenon. Indeed, until recently, the private market provided a range of housing options for individuals with very low incomes. But well-intentioned city regulations have made these forms of housing nearly extinct.

The most important thing the city can do to revive the low cost segment of private housing market is to stop standing in the way of those who would provide such housing.

Nancy (formerly of St.Paul)

6:13 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Bob posted a story at SPIF of some homeless people living in Crosby Park in tents.

The City booted them out and threw their belongings away.Tents,clothing, blankets, food.

Thats compassion for the needy for you!

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Ramsey County Adult Detention Center located on Kellog would have made a good homeless shelter.

It's a relatively new building. Secure. And yet it was sold to a developer to be razed to make way for condos.

The tax payers paid big money for that structure. It is actually the best looking building on the river front.

No consideration for the homeless or tax payers monies.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is true, it is a beautiful structure. Not bad on the inside either(I once had a room there). The views from the rooms are beautiful, that would of been a wonderful contribution to help the homeless with a bit of security and the feeling that they are actually cared about. Maybe even enough self esteem to put their lives back together.The residents could even provide work around the place and within the city to help with the costs, instead of paying city workers the high rate of pay they receive. It don't take a college degree to plant flowers, shrubs and mow lawns.

Nancy(formerly of St.Paul)

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's what I like about this site. Instead of postings (refering to ED) with ideas of how to enforce property owners to complete a list of bogus repairs i.e. call in contractors and make the repairs and then say okay here's your house back and then assess all the charges to their taxes, etc., here are some solutions to the homeless situation. I wonder what great ideas they would have thrown out over there. Very wasteful-minded people.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another thing I have really hard time being fed is how A. Hine is so intelligent and his good deed of beautifying a park by his house. If I'm going to be amazed at anyone it would be someone like Nancy O. who not only pulled herself up with her own effort, but did it in spite of the city handing her every dirty deed it could!

Nancy if you and Sharon Anderson ran for the Mayor's office, you could clean the city up. I'd vote for ya.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know Nancy Osterman and I am going to share something with all you that she never has. When Nancy speaks out about the property rights issues, the only thing she ever talks about are the things that benifet all of us. The things she rants about even benfet the people who do not agree with us. Even under fire from the eDem bunch when they were trying to discredit her, she never wavered with her message which was fairness and an honest St. Paul government for everyone.

What she has never said on any forum I have read is the details regarding that unrecorded Contract for deed that all the eDem'ers tried so hard to use to minimize or dismiss the tragedy at hand. The following is what was going on behind the scenes the whole time:

Nancy bought the house she grew up in at Jessamine St. from her mother 23 years ago. She bought it for $55,500.00 on a Contract for Deed. When she bought the property it was common practice to NOT record the Contract for Deed. It was such a common practice that laws were passed some years ago reagrding the recording issue. Between a mother who trusted her daughter and a daughter who intended to pay off the Contract they just did not think it was that important to record the Contract. Nancy made payments to her mother on the Contract for Deed for Deed all those years, all the way up to the time when the City officials moved in on her. That is when they guy across the street offered to give her much more money than Nancy says the St. Paul official trying to force her to sell the house for a song was willing to pay. With a bulldozer in her front yard digging up the utility lines to disconnect them in preparation to demolish the house, she sold the house to the guy across the street, and once again sold it on a Contract for Deed. The check the buyer gave to Nancy bounced, but he promised to make it good within just a few days. Then he approached her with a story about how he was having trouble getting the financing to fix up the house and pay her off because of the Contract for Deed. Nancy not being a professional and at the same time trusting this guy and taking him at his word talked her mother into giving her a Deed so she could give a Deed to the new owner, so he could get the financing to pay her off. The new owner not only arranged for the financing, he also according to Nancy got $40,000.00 cash out of the loan proceeds, but never paid Nancy off with this money. Instead he gave her all kinds of excuses right up until the day the City of St. Paul tore her perfectly good house down. Nancy is still making the payments on that Contract for Deed to her 70 year old mother who needs the money to live on. She has 4,000.00 left to pay.

When Nancy showed up at eDemocracy, she did not try to hide who she was. She did not misrepresent anything, she was open and honest about her past and took responsibility for it, rather tham balming someone else. She did what it took to straighten out her life and be a better person.

Shame to all of you who worked overtime over at the eDem site to not only run this woman down and find every excuse you could to justify what the city did to her and her mother, but to silence and disparage the voices that spoke and continue speaking to expose this kind of crap.

I wonder if any of your kids could even begin to hold a candle to Nancy Osterman?

I wonder how many of you would be as honest as she is and still contine to honor your word by continuing to make the Contract for Deed payments? Not many would be my guess. I would be suprised if there was even one!

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First I would like to say thank you for the kind words. I don't remember who said it but I do remember a statement that has always stuck in my head, it is:
"Lying and Stealing creates losers and short lived success"
I think in so few words it really says alot. Through my whole experience with the city and my own issues that I needed to deal with I do feel I have learned alot.I have a bit of advice for anyone that knows of someone that has problems, don't give up on them when they need you most, you could hold the key to their success in recovery. I have now learned to live for the future rather than regretting the past, I now strive to be the best person I can . I realized what I did was wrong and did what I needed to change it. I have returned to school (college) and am working on my bachelors degree in the criminal justice feild, upon completion I am hoping to get my record cleared up so I can help others in their road to recovery.Possibly in the probation area or within substance abuse court program, while I continue my education at a local law school. I feel I will be able to help others and teach them to beleive in themselves, so that they too can make changes in their life and succeed. No one should ever have to feel like they are nothing and that nobody cares, if given the proper tools their is a repair to everything. Thanks again for the kind words.

Nancy (formerly of St. Paul)

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just looking up some info on vacant buildings, in Feb.2006 there was 571 vacant buildings, Sept.2006 there are 724. That is an average of 22 per month increase, which is getting close to becomming one a day and I am not talking about vitamins! At a rate like that if it continues there will be more homeless people than any shelter will be able to handle this winter, I would guess some of the homeless feel forced to commit a crime so they can go to jail just to have a roof over their head, it would sure beat sleeping outside in the snow during the winter months. I can hardly see where condemnation of homes is of any help to reduce crime, if anything it raises crime.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have got a lot of nerve nancy trying to straighten yourself up. Don't you realize how much money the city has spent trying to ruin your life? And what about all the non profits and other government agencies that are working hard every day to take money and grants from taxpayers and anyone elxe they can con to be able to fund their programs to deal with people like you. What about the various jobs in corections, courts, social workers, legal aide attorneys, police, housing inspectors, demoliton companys, etc that people like you will destroy by getting your act together? How dare you have a nice life. It is no wonder the liberals at e democracy don't like you.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Rick Mons said...

Nancy raises some good points regarding the difficulty for the homeless to secure legitimate housing. I know that the cost of security deposits, advance rent payments, etc can be daunting. And I know that monthly rents can be out of reach for families.

I've also seen cities (not exclusively St Paul) and other levels of government try to remove roadblocks ... establishing "below-market" rental units through subsidies (including TIF); providing first-time homeowner grants and lower mortgage interest rates; etc. Many of these have also included non-profit groups and foundations which have been generally disparaged elsewhere in this thread.

What I've not heard from the homeless is the willingness of the for-profit private sector lending a hand. I'm not saying it doesn't happen -- just that if it happens, it doesn't get much credit from the homeless.

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When and where have you seen St. Paul removing any roadblocks for the people who earn less than $15,000.00 a year Rick? Tell me one time. The "for profit private sector" that you claim to never hear anything about has the city in their face every day throwing up roadblock after raodblock with regulatory BS and illegal code enforcement, and the non profits other than the larger ones like Wilder, Red Cross, Slavation Army, etc. just exploit the poor peoples situation for their own benifet, that is why people do not like them so much.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do property management, our main focus is on the low income, with only 50 units which are full. Renting to the low income does create a diificult job.I do a complete inspection and report of each units condition every 3 months,most tenants need reminders about their houskeeping, but overall I think they are a very good community of individuals. I have seen the love thy neighbor more here than anywhere. I work with Anoka county with alot these tenents, also local churches, and salvation army. One requirement for Anoka county to help is they must have a job, that can be difficult to acheive when you are living in your car(no address or phone).I am not saying there hasn't been problems, but according to Ham Lake City Hall, the problems have been very minimal. People just need to be given the chance to get back on their feet, I have also used tenants that are behind on their rent to help me out with some work around the property to help them catch up on rent rather than kicking them out, this also has worked out good. There are many ways to help the low income, but the city does need to be part of the program and be understanding of the situation.

Nancy(formerly of St.Paul)

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd still like to know what motivates Rick Mons to put so much effort into twisting the truth and then the effort he puts into trying to convince every person posting here into giving up their views that the subject inspectors are stripping citizens of their rights to have a home.

I knew the real estate market was soft, but sheesh he seems to have a lot of time of his hands LOL! He studies and examines records by day and posts his conclusions by night.

Then he plays city attorney and puts together his own set of interrogatories - and who are your clients Mr. attorney-want-to-be?

He's not an attorney but he plays one on TV. And he's also a detective - a regular Dick Tracy.

We have your number and it's not 007. You love to argue, especially with Tim. Did you know arguing takes up more effort and can shorten your life and that laughter and a good outlook on life can lengthen it? Mr. Mons could make a great trial lawyer - up there yelling and arguing with all his quick questions and his sharp mind LOL!

Okay, now time to do your fancy-shmancy postings that have all those neat little italics and highlighting - hey he's a secretary too! Wow a persisent little devil isn't he. If he put this much effort into the real estate business, he could corner the market in St. Paul, course he'd have to tag after the city and get the left overs.

Hey, that's a good idea! He could be like a city car chaser, you know those little white cars. And for all you ladies out there who are single, no it's not your white- knight-in-shining-armor pulling up to whisk you away. They will whisk you away though, especially if you are ethnic and live your life differently than your neighbors would like you to.

So to make a long story short, power trips abound and either you are on one or you are the person being effected by one. The grass is always greener and rose colored glasses can effect your vision. The world is not a nice place which is why we have Edem, government, jails, shelters and drugs. Remember in the end that this is what it comes down to

The asterick is your life here on earth and the before is the ages and the after is eternity.

Don't let anyone effect you to speak up for what is right and decent. Don't ever feel less for not being as intelligent as another. In the end we are all judged for our works here on earth and some who play too many roles may not get the ticket.


9:09 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

I know many Rental Property Investors who have put their tenants to work to help pay their rent.

I also know that many landlords feel compelled to be a bit of a social worker to help tenants get along with each other.

10:08 AM  

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