by Sam Hieb
Today’s Charlotte Observer editorial weighs in on the new name for the Charlotte Housing Authority: “Inlivian.”
You don’t have to travel far on the internet to find some smirking about Inlivian, the new name announced Monday for an 80-year-old Charlotte agency that provides housing assistance to low-income residents. Yes, it’s an unusual choice to replace “Charlotte Housing Authority” — a straightforward approach that most cities used when public housing authorities were created across the country in the late 1930s. And while it’s a decision that shouldn’t be ridiculed, it’s one that prompts at least a couple of questions about usefulness and cost.
…Still, the authority and its seven-member board, which is appointed by the mayor and City Council, should ask if that’s the best use for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Charlotte is grappling with an affordable housing crisis, and while $200,000 is a tiny fraction of the money needed to make a difference, those dollars certainly might have been more meaningfully used for people who need help most. At the least, the timing for such an expense is iffy given the city-wide focus on its housing challenge.
The Observer adds “Inlivian” could “be confused with any condo dotting the uptown Charlotte landscape.” True. Look, there’s to much worry about stigma in the country. The Housing Authority is what is, and it’s there when you need it –until, with some hard work, you don’t need it anymore. Changing the name only distracts from that fact.