SAVING THE HIGH STREET: WHY CAN’T ‘WE ALL BE IN IT TOGETHER’ AND SORT IT OUT?

Closed down shops, graffiti, tatty ‘To Let’ signs, a few sad-looking folk waiting for a bus. It’s the recession, they say – we’re all in it together, it’s changing demographics – there’s nothing we can do, they say… There’s no money…

Really? Is that really true? Is there nothing we can do?

Can’t we ‘regenerate our high street? Can’t we improve our community?

Why can’t we get together, club together, scrounge together the money and improve things?

A run-down high street

A run-down high street

 

WHY CAN’T WE ALL ‘BE IN IT TOGETHER’ AND SORT IT OUT?

Well, somebody has, and maybe it could work here also…

“In fact, what he’s describing is virtually impossible. You can invest in buying your own home. But you can’t buy into a true real estate deal unless government regulators believe you’re wealthy enough to know how to handle your own money. Until now, the Millers themselves have been restricted to raising funds from accredited investors they personally know. This is how the system works: If you want in, you must know the right people and have enough money – six or seven figures’ worth.

”Most American cities as we know them today weren’t built this way. Historically, hotels and restaurants and shops were built by local people investing in their own neighborhoods. “And now, people are invested in nothing local!” Ben exclaims. “Everything’s remote, everything’s on Wall Street, everything’s in mutual funds.
As he gathers steam talking about this, his indictment sweeps out from H Street to the real estate industry to the financial system to the roots of the recession. And the connection between all of these things matters in your neighborhood because the question of who gets to invest in property ultimately determines the answer to what gets built.“

Read the full article here:

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2012/11/real-estate-deal-could-change-future-everything/3897

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3 thoughts on “SAVING THE HIGH STREET: WHY CAN’T ‘WE ALL BE IN IT TOGETHER’ AND SORT IT OUT?

  1. There are two stages here, aren’t there? One getting the money by raising it locally not from the fat cats, and two keeping the ownership local – the second one is already pretty well sorted here in the UK with the various social enterprise and cooperative models of community and shared not-for-profit ownership models.

    This article is about avoiding the real killer – avoiding borrowing from the banks and raising the money locally.

  2. Look at all te hip, desirable places in the city now – camden, notting hill, hackney, islington – all of them became desirable because of community action doing interesting things… okay, so each is now bought out and boring because of it, but remember that it is still legal to squat non domestic property and do interesting stuff in it!

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