New Report Shows Why Immigrants Help With Housing Recovery

CBS News featured a story on the benefits of new immigrants to a community. The greater Cleveland area, for example, is still trying to recover from the vacant housing issues in some neighborhoods. The opinion of one policy expert is this:

“Immigration yields a significant impact on home values across the country, occurring most notably in relatively affordable metropolitan areas and neighborhoods,” according to the report. “Controlling for other factors, when an immigrant moves into a community, the price of the average home rises by 11.6 cents.” If 1,000 immigrants arrived, in other words, a home’s value could rise by more than $11,000.”

The above article highlights other points as well, in a new report just released. It’s a good read and interviews other people not involved in the report who provide further analysis.

LULAC Provides Specifics on How Sensible Immigration Reform Can Fix Ohio’s Broken Economy

Key points to the League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC) report for the entire Nation are provided on their site. Some things make perfect sense.

1. Because increased immigration brings with it an enrichment of culture, tourism would grow nationally.

2. GDP would rise, the Federal Deficit would be reduced – LULAC estimates – by $850 million over the next 20 years.

You can read more about it on the LULAC site here.

Of keen interest to all of us in NE Ohio would be their report on how the reforms (using the Senate Bill as a model) would affect the State of Ohio.

They suggest if immigration reform was in place by Fall of 2013, the increase in workers paying taxes and adding to the economy by the end of 2014 would be 10,000 new people.

Me? I always like the original source. Who came up with these stats, anyway? Regional Economics Models, Inc., that’s who. They are headquartered in Massachusetts and have other interesting things on their site like webinars. They also do economic modeling for other issues.

The idea that Congress is going to deal with immigration reform and put more sensible laws in place before December of 2013 is nice but probably not happening. I guess we could all be pleasantly surprised…

Are Some Local Immigrant Groups Working At Cross Purposes But Does This Keep Everyone Honest?

I see a lot of flash on the Internet. No, not the app or download, just regular flash. You know, the kind that involves chest beating about how good immigration is or how bad it is and each one says ‘get on my bandwagon’ not theirs.

I found a site dedicated to watch-dogging resettlement organizations and re-settlers. Personally, I see no problem with this, as long as they are not motivated by hate. How do you know? I guess just keep watching what they print. The most prolific of the ones I’ve found is called Refugee Resettlement Watch. (You can Google it, I don’t give links automatically).

I found a site that is sounding like it’s the new Global Cleveland but in reality is promoting the various ethnic groups we already have here. That can’t hurt at all, it’s good to relish in our diversity. What are they trying to do over and above this? This site is called clevelandpeople.com. On its face, it’s celebratory. It’s sponsor (only one so far that I can tell) is a well-known immigration attorney here in NE Ohio. Nothing wrong with trying to get all of us to see how diverse we are and then maybe wear down even the most fearful about how immigrants can bring jobs and not take them away.

What I really hope is that whatever organizations are going to take a positive productive lead on this issue, they will not work at cross purposes, will be transparent, will get us involved and most importantly, bring us immigrants or global companies who can create jobs and increase our population.

We already have Global Cleveland. clevelandpeople.com is raising money (or at least it looks that way on-line). They sell DVD’s, CD’s, cookbooks, all celebrating ethnic diversity. Great. Who gets the money? The individual ethnic clubs mentioned on the site, who have signed on as ambassadors? Cleveland People? Whoever it is, what are they doing with that money? Is it just an attempt to provide an on line vehicle for whoever made the products to sell them and allow us to enjoy them? That’s fine too. So which is it?

If money is needed for advertising and town halls in the communities, I’d prefer the money go there. I think the reason why Clevelanders (and probably those elsewhere!) are skittish about paying money to any group, is accountability.

Bottom line is, kudos to any group actively trying to get us out of inertia and moving towards the new immigrants needed here in Cleveland goal. Why can’t transparency/informationals that don’t involve events/updates not be held on a regular basis?

Cleveland and NE Ohio Population Breakdown by Cleveland City Planning Commission

Cleveland’s Planning Commission website has a  graphic/chart-filled analysis of who makes up Cleveland’s (and NE Ohio’s in general) population. I’m reading a book right now by Eric Klinenberg called Going Solo which discusses the trends (which are rather dramatic) away from multiple person households to solo households. The Planning Commission relays info from the Brookings Institute we’ve already touched on, and enhances it specifically for our area and the ‘moving forward’ challenges we will need to address. Cleveland’s (and Cuyahoga County’s) single person household numbers definitely increased although less so than other areas studied.

As mentioned in another post, the number of immigrants has declined, moreso than other areas similar to Cleveland. According to Brookings and the Planning Commission reort, most of our immigrants are European and Asian.

Snippets that informed me:

*The Census Bureau estimates that Cleveland’s daytime population increases to approximately 593,000 due to the influx of commuters to their jobs.

*Turnover: Cleveland has more long-term residents than many other cities. In 2000 only 16.1% of the city’s population had lived in a different city five years before (1995). Among the 23 cities targeted by the Brookings Institution study, Cleveland had the sixth lowest share of “new arrivals

Direct quote from the report:
*” Net Out-Migration of Residents: If population were solely determined by the ratio of births to deaths, Cleveland’s population would be increasing. Given the city’s relatively small senior population, as compared to its young person population, this same trend should continue into the future; but it is not expected to affect the bottom line. The city is losing population because more people are moving out than are moving in.”

To close, we’ve had a nice uptick in young population growth in Downtown Cleveland. But our overall population is aging and along with attracting people from other U.S. cities, states, an influx of skilled and/or smart, creative immigrants can help to cauterize the population loss.

Baltimore Shares Cleveland’s Population Loss & Has A Plan To Welcome Immigrants & Reverse The Decline

I found an NPR article and podcast entitled Baltimore Says Immigrants Welcome. Baltimore shares the same plight as Cleveland: population loss.  Two things impressed me. 

1. Baltimore’s leaders, political and otherwise, decided the way to stem the population loss was to recruit immigrants.  The Mayor, for example, set a goal of 10,000 new families within a decade (this is a late 2012  podcast and article, so very recent).

2. NPR interviewed a man who initially was considering going somewhere else after he arrived here. Word of mouth prevailed, other immigrants shared their stories with him about how welcoming Baltimore was, how freely he could live in the City.  And he decided that was good enough for him. He stayed.

There is also an article about Philadelphia’s efforts to recruit immigrants as well, written in 2010. This NPR article updates me a bit by saying 2010 was the 1st year of real growth Philadelphia had seen in quite some time, and there was a major influx of Asians and Hispanic immigrants. (will do more research on the Philadelphia story for a later posting).  But for now, here is a quote on Philly’s results, according to a worker from The Welcoming Center For New Pennsylvanians.

“The whole city was doing handsprings when the news came out from the Census Bureau about a year and a half ago that our population is growing again,” she says. “If it had not been for the growth in the city’s immigrant population, we would not have grown, we would have had another decade of population losses.”