Keeping the Homeless Out of Sight Makes Their Lives More Dangerous

By Nuala Sawyer Bishari : sfweekly – excerpt

S.F.’s ongoing displacement of unhoused people makes it hard for them to hold onto life-saving medications and other supplies.

Nearly 10,000 people in San Francisco are homeless, with a nightly shelter bed waitlist that hasn’t dropped below 1,000 in more than a year.

The symptoms of the crisis are evident to anyone who lives or works in the city: Tents line the sidewalks, people sleep in doorways, and lines of RVs and cars that are parked along empty streets in industrial neighborhoods provide some protection from the elements.

The reaction to the crisis has produced extreme reactions, primarily focused on the aesthetics the crisis presents instead of the root of the problem: extreme poverty adjacent to some of the most staggering wealth inequality in the world…(more)

And, if you believe latest report on CalMatters, California tax revenue is soaring, and there is no shortage of funds.

There Are 2 Vacant Investor-Owned Homes for Every Homeless Person in America

By: Carl Gibson : gritpost – excerpt

The difference between the greed of the wealthy and the precariousness of American workers is painfully stark when looking at vacant homes.

2016 figures from ATTOM Data Solutions — which publishes comprehensive housing data — show that wealthy investors are buying up more and more real estate as a moneymaking venture while housing prices and homelessness continue to skyrocket across America.

According to ATTOM, 76 percent of all vacant homes in America are owned by investors — amounting to approximately 1.1 million vacant residential investment properties. Many of these vacant homes are in economically distressed Rust Belt cities with high poverty rates, like Detroit, Michigan, neighboring Flint, and Youngstown, Ohio. The states with the highest investment property vacancy rate also have high poverty rates. Michigan leads the pack with 10.3 percent vacancy, Indiana at 9.8 percent, Alabama at 6.9 percent, and Mississippi at 6.6 percent… (more)

The Housing Balance Act

All the Government schemes to balance housing, jobs, infrastructure and taxes to pay for it all has resulted in gentrified cities with mounting debts that depend on unlimited growth spurred by greed to survive, or at least maintain a semblance of order and financial balance.

Social Housing in the Untied States: by Peter Gowan & Ryan Cooper of People’s Policy Project, explores the problem.

People’s Policy Project is a think tank founded in 2017. The primary mission of 3P is to publish ideas and analysis that assist in the development of an economic system that serves the many, not the few:

Major change is always coming, but, fast-paced disruptive change can turn a natural evolutionary process into a revolutionary nightmare.

Read the 43 page online book here: Social Housing in the Untied States


How SF loses affordable housing almost as fast as it gets built

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt (includes graph)

For every ten new affordable units we create, evictions cost us about six. Plus: Sup. Fewer tries to cut rent hikes…

The Planning Commission will hear a report Thursday/24 on the city’s latest housing balance figures – and the data includes some startling information that helps explain why homelessness is such an intractable problem…

In the past ten years, the data shows, the city has added 6,515 units of affordable housing – and lost 4,221 units, mostly to Ellis Act and Owner Move-In evictions.

That means, in essence, that every time we build 100 units of affordable housing, we lose about 60 units to evictions. Add in the number of evictions that are never reported, the number of rent-controlled units lost to Airbnb, and the number of people who lose their jobs or are told to leave after crashing with friends or family and you can see how every month, on average, 100 more people become homeless in San Francisco…

The bottom line – although the Planning Department report doesn’t say it: We can’t solve the homeless crisis until we solve the eviction crisis. And keeping people in their homes is far, far cheaper than helping them get off the streets.

I wonder why that never made it into the Department’s report.

Sup. Sandra Lee Fewer has a proposal that will help a lot of tenants, might prevent some evictions, and will reign in some of the worst abuses of big speculative landlords…(more)



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