From “Title Town” to “Entitlement Town”!Do you remember when Gloucester was known as “Title Town” because of the successful sports teams in both GHS and GCHS?Back then, we were a proud, hardworking, blue-collar town.Today we are known as “The Entitlement Town”!What has happened to our city?
Cheap real estate has been purchased in sections of Gloucester City by out-of-town investment groups who in turn rent to tenants that receive government entitlements.The government pays 80% of their rentals.These tenants have very little interest in our community.In recent years, several businesses have closed and were converted into low-income housing apartments.Who has allowed this to happen?Zoning Boards granted variances to allow commercial properties to be converted into residential low-income housing units.
Why does Gloucester welcome more low-income housing when surrounding communities support and promote owner occupied housing?This is also one of the main reasons that we find trash on our streets and see so many people with backpacks on Broadway.One of the other reasons is lack of enforcement by our local government.Our housing department along with our police department must step up their effort to enforce our local laws.
People are afraid to speak out against the deteriorating conditions in their neighborhoods and are afraid of retaliation from their local officials.
Our community, any community, is a reflection of the people that live within it.
Robert S. Bevan
Former Mayor of the City of Gloucester City
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