News Flash: Lower Income Workers Have Nowhere To Live (from Huff Post )

This social crisis can no longer be ignored:

Lower Income Workers Have Nowhere To Live

Small affordable houses will help solve this crisis but, according to the banks and builders, small affordable houses are not profitable.

Our government has an obligation to assist in solving this enormous problem, as per the US Constitution ”  for the common good ”




Hot Off The Press:  Cottages For Homeless People In Dallas Will Save Taxpayers About $1.3 Million

Communities of small houses are beginning to spring up all over the United States in response to the need for affordable housing.

Tent City Urbanism covers community land trusts quite well in it’s latest article, which addresses the crisis of a lack of affordable housing for too many Americans. Check out their terrific web site for more information.

Housing is a human requirement and not a luxury reserved for those with perfect credit scores and high income levels. Affordable housing is not being built because, according to the banks and builders, it’s not profitable.

Meanwhile, working people, senior citizens, homeless veterans, and those who have fallen on hard times, are facing homelessness. Many already are.

This is a social crisis which must be addressed by the government.

Banks & Builders: Small Houses Not Profitable

Not profitable.

That pretty much summarizes the reason we do not see small affordable priced homes being constructed.

Never mind that housing is a necessity and America’s new wages do not allow for even a modest apartment rental, but if you qualify, which you likely won’t any, based upon your income, the builder and bankers have already picked out your brand new house whether it’s what you really want or not.

Your brand new house will likely be 1800 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 ceramic baths, an attached 2+ car garage and a partial basement. Your mortgage payment will be amortized over 30 years and if you last that long, you will have paid 4 times the purchase price of the house in juice alone back to the bank.

What if, one the other hand, you wanted a more sustainable lifestyle and not a lot of debt. What if you wanted a small house of 200 square feet with a porch. Shouldn’t you be able to obtain a home like that if you choose without restrictions put into place to make banks and builders more profitable ?

Everyone needs a place to live. The high cost of rentals and housing is contributing to homelessness and poverty.

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Affordable Housing And The Cult-Like Worship Of Wealth

Have you noticed the Mc Mansions and luxury houses are showing up on page one of the newspapers, both the on-line version as well as the print edition:

North Shore Mansion With Lakeshore Frontage  Features 2 Indoor pools, 8 Bedrooms And 8 Baths, Elevators, Surround Sound Theaters, 10,000 Square Feet, Maids Quarters, 5 Car Attached Garage On Private Lake…Asking 5 Million. 

Real estate listings masquerading as bona fide news stories; a clever marketing tool or snobbery, you decide, but the simple fact is there is no market for such houses in working class areas and among working people, unless one wins the lottery, so what is really going on here.

Enter the cult of wealth and celebrity worship, where anyone who wants to can live vicariously through others. After all, if you can’t have it, you may as well fantasize about it.

Did you know Kim Kardashian has 33.5 million twitter followers ? Did you also know that the likelihood of ever being able to own that 5 million dollar luxury mansion is almost zero ?

But hope springs eternal, or so we have been told. With enough hard work and planning, you, too, can own one of these American status symbols. Just keep working, cutting those coupons and keep a positive attitude, and don’t ever give up on the power of positive ( magical)  thinking.

Magical thinking meets the cold hard truth, and it’s not a pretty picture.

The cold hard truth is that, for many people, even the cost of a modest 2 bedroom apartment has become out of reach, and with an aging population dependent on SSI or a meager pension, this housing crisis will only get worse. It is not going to disappear or get better by ignoring the truth:

90 Year Old Veteran Evicted For Home

Elderly Woman Being Evicted Found Dead

Man Kills Self Following Eviction

We live in a society where The Golden Rule reigns, and more is better. He or she who has the gold, makes the rules. The concept of an upward mobile society does not include in it’s narrative small affordable houses and people barely able to make ends meet.

Small conflicts with ” more is better ” and we will have none of that.

Affordable conflicts with the idea the housing should be a luxury reserved for only those who qualify and…

Housing is way too vague and should be clearly defined as being a 1600+ square foot living space within 4 walls and a roof. Anything less will devalue our own property and we will have none of that.

Housing is a human right and necessity, like food and clothing, but has instead for many become a luxury, reserved for those with perfect credit and a large paycheck. This is wrong and must stop. Our fellow Americans, many of whom are old and living in abject poverty, are being thrown into the streets while many more are ending their own lives. There are families with small children living in homeless shelters because they could not afford the 1800+/month rent on their wages or their credit scores were less than ideal.

This is a national disgrace. The high cost of housing is destroying lives.

Enter the cult of wealth worship where if you are rich, you are to be idealized, glorified and emulated because you are good and have achieved The American Dream, and, who knows, maybe you will someday have your own reality TV show.

If, on the other hand, you are a low wage earner, a struggling senior citizen living from check to check, you are essentially scorned and dis-enfranchised. You are to be shunned, ridiculed and ignored, and you deserve your lot in life and homelessness because you have only yourself to blame for not having goals. The only reality TV show you will ever have are the news headlines announcing yet another suicide or eviction while the viewers are grateful it’s nobody they know as they promptly change the channel.

America needs affordable housing. Small single occupancy houses or apartments, communities of small affordable houses retrofitted for our disabled citizens. Small houses under 200 square feet powered with safe clean renewable energy will provide security and shelter for those economically dis-enfranchised by the growing cult of wealth worship. Here are a few examples:

Small Houses Tap A Bigger Market

Atlanta May Revise Codes To Allow For Small Houses

Being wealthy does not automatically equate to being a good person, and not having wealth does not make you a criminal or bad person. Housing is a human requirement and there are viable alternatives to the McMansions and luxury estates, as well as the obscene rents being demanded.



A Recent Tour Of Tiny Diamond Homes In Morrison, Colorado

On a recent trip to Colorado, I visited Tiny Diamond Homes, located in Morrison, not far from Denver. I had the pleasure of meeting with and talking to the owner, Cheryl Coates.

I learned a lot about tiny homes on trailers from Cheryl and viewed the interior of a tiny home her company has constructed. I was impressed with the good use of space and quality in construction and materials.

I was impressed with the emphasis on quality and proper design and construction of their tiny homes on trailers. While this concept may not appeal to everyone, there is a market for such dwellings. I have often wondered, though, what would happen if in the process of being transported, it imploded or “de-constructed” into a heap of debris on a roadway somewhere. That would be very sad and a costly mistake that could have been avoided.bcardtinyhomeownerloftcabinetsmain

Staggering Poverty And The Cost Of Housing: What We Can Do About This

Have you checked out the cost of rents lately ? I am in the western suburbs of Chicago and the cost of rent for a modest 2 bedroom apartment averages 1400.00 a month and this excludes utilities and assorted others fees. Housing is a human requirement and not a luxury so how did this happen and what can be done to alleviate homelessness caused by out of control rents and low wage jobs.

First, we need to acknowledge that low income-low wages do not automatically equate to crime and blight. In addition, we need to banish the idea that low wage earners are lazy and unmotivated and deserve their lot in life. Sadly, this hateful mindset has been firmly implanted into the psyche of too many people who think that good people have money and bad people do not and they have only themselves to blame for not being able to afford even the basics of housing.

Many college graduates are stuck in job which pay under 15.00/hour and will never be able to afford a home of their own. Still others have lost their retirement funds and depend on only social security to live.

Enter the small house movement.

There are also many others who want a more sustainable lifestyle and they should have choices when it comes to housing.

One solution is small affordable houses in communities with such practical amenities as gardens and greenhouses. By definition, America has become a 3rd world nation:

Here are some creative and practical solutions to the housing crisis:

Here is a link to one of my favorite sites: Tent City Urbanism. Their latest post deals with the zoning challenges facing small house advocates:

There is a wealth of excellent information on Tent City Urbanism’s web page.

For more information on the small house movement, visit us on Facebook: Live Green 4 Less

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