News of the Rust Belt from around the world, brought to you weekly by the staff of Belt Magazine. We’re independently owned; become a member and support us (plus get cool stuff for free!). Better yet, this month only, you can become a Lifetime Member.

Peduto Administration Pitches Use Of Section 8 Funds To Subsidize Home Ownership [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
While the proposal is still in the conceptual stage, community-development experts are enthusiastic, partly because home ownership can reduce price-pressures on low-income residents when a neighborhood is redeveloped.

What You Need To Know About Lead Poisoning – Flint Edition [Forbes]
The Justice Department announced this week that they were beginning an investigation into the Flint water crisis. Coincidentally, Governor Snyder declared a state of emergency that very same day. Yet Snyder has not yet found time to ensure that safe water is distributed to the community — that has fallen on volunteers and donations.

Illinois Population Trend Could Lead To One Fewer Congressional Seat For State [Belleville News-Democrat]
Losing a congressional seat also would mean the state would lose an electoral vote in presidential elections, which could have a factor in the electoral balance. Illinois, typically a safe Democratic state in presidential elections, could end up losing an electoral vote to a Republican-leaning state or a battleground state.

Cake Boss: After Barbecue Business Closes Up Shop, Entrepreneur Reinvents Herself With Detroit Sugar [Hour Detroit]
Herbert hopes to expand her business to include multiple stores around metro Detroit, but is going to take it slow. “A small startup is enough to be dangerous,” she says. “There are obstacles that you don’t anticipate, so I am trying to grow my business carefully.”

To Rebuild Cities, Get Back To Basics [Detroit Free Press]
Two professors, Gary Sands of Wayne State University and Laura Reese of Michigan State University, have completed new research that calls into question almost all of the economic development tactics that Rust Belt cities have thrown at decline over the years, including casinos and programs aimed at luring the so-called creative class.

They Came From Cleveland: X_X Pays Homage To Albert Ayler [Yes! Weekly]
“Cleveland was where we grew up, It was what we knew — the flats, the steel mills, the factories. When it comes to Cleveland, I always tell people it’s in the water. It’s Lake Eerie; there’s something in that water that made us all weird.”

Banner photo of the I-275 & I-75 junction by Ken Lund.

This month (January 2016) only, become a Lifetime Member of Belt! Never worry about renewing your membership again; save 50% on anything we ever sell, forever; and support local journalism and independent small press by enabling us to pay writers for their work.