At a recent neighborhood meeting we proposed tearing down blighted buildings in an old industrial area and building housing in its place. These old buildings (total eyesores) are right in the middle of a residential neighborhood. I was amazed at the number of people who were adamantly against any housing that would consist of rental units. One woman went far enough to say, "That's why I moved out of the city. You're just going to bring the blacks here now." The racism and hypocrisy were unreal. A lot of the complainers live in a RENTAL building. I was so frustrated when the meeting was over.
Any ideas on how to combat/address these issues? These citizens want me to propose direct ways to prevent rental housing units from being built. I can't do that. Anybody have experience dealing with small-minded, racist views like these? I'm a fairly new planner and could use some advice.