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TESTIMONY: WALTER LIPSCOMB COMMUNITY VOICES HEARD MEMBER MARCH TO CITY HALL FEBRUARY 12, 2008 YONKERS, NY Hello, my name is Walter Lipscomb and I am a Community Voices Heard Leader. I am a construction worker and have been so for the past 30 years. I have lived in Yonkers all my life. In the last few years, the cost of living has spiraled upwards but the wages and social service income have remained the same. Therefore, the low-income families are still the low-income families. In my opinion the development of southwest Yonkers benefits the small business owners to an extent, and the developer. The people who live here, can’t afford to do neither rent or purchase the luxury housing being built or comply with the soaring inflation that’s following it. The promise of jobs and community involvement or inclusion, I’ve yet to see come to play. The only part the low-income family plays in this multi-million dollar business venture is relocation. Yonkers has gotten low- income housing and affordable housing confused – they are not the same. Eliminating low-income housing to create affordable housing means that eventually you and I and anyone who is not making better than $50,000 a year will be moving very soon. Where do we go? And when we leave, do we get to take Yonkers federal money for low-income housing with us? This is just the new form of segregation – not of color, or nationality, but of financial means. We are marching today because we want to be included in the plans for development and we want to know how we will benefit. Where are our community centers? Where is our low-income housing? Where are the jobs for the people living in the area?
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