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?
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.“
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