ARA Missed the Boat

RECEIVED Fri., Sept. 28, 2007

Dear Editor,
    The Austin Revitalization Authority missed the boat [“The Dead End at Olive and Juniper,” News, Sept. 7]! I know two families who had tried to get a house. One being Sewah Archer and another family who got tired of being put on hold for two years and bought a house in suburbia. Archer would have been ARA's greatest cheerleader if only they had done half of what they had promised. One, put her into a house in a respectable amount of time – four years is not a respectable amount of time in anyone's book. Here is a woman who had waited and put up with these changes and postponements and increases in price every step of the way for four years, and Charles Urdy has the gall to criticize her [“Correspondence: Charles Urdy and Michael King,” News, Sept. 28]? He should be helping her in any way and form to get her into a house. After four years she gets married, and that is against the rules? It's a sad day when a bureaucratic rule will keep a family from a house in a neighborhood her ancestors built, grew up in, and helped make. I drive through this neighborhood, and I see structures that meld better with Star Trek than the East Austin I grew up knowing. If Urdy was aiming to keep or restore the East Austin we knew, he seemed to fail keeping his eye on the prize. An 1,100-square-foot shotgun house going for $350,000, then getting torn down, and something you would see on the front of an architect's magazine in its place. Shame on Charles Urdy for what has happened.
Tad Smalley
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