Financial independence benefits diversity

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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In response to the Oct. 2 article, "Housing Center appoints new director," I would like to applaud the strategic plan of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center as articulated by Executive Director Athena Williams, namely to reduce financial dependence upon government funding from the village of Oak Park. 

Achieving financial independence from village funding benefits everyone: The Housing Center is able to pursue expansion of its programs as it sees fit, free from any possible constraints imposed by the village. In turn the village can potentially give Oak Park taxpayers some much-needed relief. 

The Oak Park real estate market, relative to surrounding areas, is sluggish, due to our excessively high property taxes. High property taxes price both potential renters and homeowners out of the Oak Park market. High property taxes are a significant obstacle to promoting a diverse community. Diversity applies not only to race, ethnicity and sexual orientation, but to age and financial status as well. 

High property taxes potentially force older residents living on fixed incomes and families with single incomes to leave the village. Soon Oak Park will be comprised solely of young professional couples with two sizable incomes.

Corey Gimbel

Oak Park

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