Letter to the Editor: 'Low Income' Gets a Bad Rap

A Cinnaminson Harbour resident responds to some comments made about the housing complex after a drug deal stabbing occurred there recently.

To the editor: 

I wanted to write this to address the perceived stereotypes surrounding “low and moderate income” people in light of the recent comments made on Patch relating to the .    

There seems to be a perceived idea in our society that if you are “low to moderate income” that you are automatically up to no good and therefore do not belong in our town. You see this all over, not just in Cinnaminson.      

In 1970, a woman by the name of Ethel Lawrence had the courage to fight Mt. Laurel. The lawsuit Ethel Lawrence brought against Mt. Laurel has had a profound impact on the obligations towns have in providing for housing for those that are considered “low to moderate income.”    

Some have argued that the Mt. Laurel decision has been an unfunded mandate by the courts and have cost towns untold amounts of money. I am not here to argue that point. What I am here to say is that everybody has the right to live and grow up in an environment free of intimidation—in an environment where their kids are free to play without being threatened—in an environment where they have a real opportunity to grow and learn. This is the same opportunity that many kids have had here in Cinnaminson over the years. 

What has disturbed me in recent days with the comments posted is somehow those people living in the apartments that are “low to moderate income” must be responsible for the stabbing. This stereotype is exactly why we have the Mt. Laurel decision. I am standing up to those of you in our community who have this perceived notion that these people, in particular these kids, don’t deserve to be raised in the same fashion in the same town that you were raised in. The issues we are facing in our community transcend any socio-economic boundaries. The problems we are facing comes down to parents! It doesn’t matter where you live how much money you make.   

It truly takes a village these days. I encourage you all to take an interest in your neighbors. If you know a single mother who is struggling to raise her children, I encourage you to stand next to her and offer your assistance. If you have children, take an interest in what they do. As a community, we need to come together and unite as one. Together we can make a difference!

Roger Hare

Do you have an opinion to share? Send a letter to the editor. Make sure to include your full name. Email christina.paciolla@patch.com. 

SJDiva August 21, 2012 at 07:42 PM
This all has me so nervous. I recently visited Cinnaminson Harbour and I'm considering purchasing one of the townhomes. I'm so conflicted with this decision having read many of the comments about the community online. The stabbing by itself does not deter me. Those were two individuals who agreed to meet for a drug deal, which sadly did not go well. Hearing that kids roam the woods to smoke pot also does not deter me. I of course don't agree with it, but many teenagers do it. Not to mention those woods will not be around much longer since Ryan Homes is tearing them down to build 3 more phases to the complex. What does deter me is the attitudes of residents in the community. I am not low-income, but I am a minority. Do I now have to worry that my neighbors are going to think I'm low-income and therefore "bad?" I have lived in south Jersey all my life and have never come across comments like what I am reading on this site. This makes me very sad... sad for the fact I have to reconsider a place of residence I would love and sad for all of mankind in general.
Liz Matt August 22, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Dear SJDiva, I believe you will find a welcoming community in Cinnaminson. If people went by news reaction posts in the Philadelphia Inquirer, nobody would want to live in or move to Philadelphia's up and coming neighborhoods, but there's little resemblance between the online ranting and day to day life. Welcome home, if you choose Cinnaminson. Remember, this string started with a very sane posting.
Sneezewort September 20, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Slow down, Jesus! Have you actually visited Cinnaminson Harbour? If this town is racist, that's quite ironic since we're a diverse group of Indians, Blacks, Latinos, and White. Making broad assumptions about things we don't know anything about does quite a lot of damage.
Sneezewort September 20, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Dear SJDiva, No! You have NOTHING to worry about!! :-) I assure you that we're a bunch of hard-working regular folks who are not racist. It actually makes me laugh to read all these posts. My wife and I were one of the first families to move into the Cinnaminson Harbour community 7 years ago. Who are you going to trust? A bunch of whiny people who are speaking in ignorance, or someone who actually lives there? Please trust me! :-) It's a happy place and I hope you do move here. It's really cool to be so close to the Delaware River (literally a 5 minute walk from anywhere in the complex) and Philly. Oh, and not all the woods will be chopped down.
Sneezewort September 20, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Fact: Cinnaminson Township sued Kaplan (the original builders who still own the property and manage the apartments) to force them to place all low-income housing in one or two buildings and not spread it out. The township lost the suit. Source: Police Department


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