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Discussion in 'The OT' started by mainedish, Jun 24, 2004.
Is everyone is buying before interest rates jump?
At the same time the Census Bureaus is reporting a rise in homelessness rates.
This is the dichotomy of the USA. Some folks are doing extremly well while an equally large group is losing ground - and the middle class will eventually be the group to take up the slack.
We have a homeless shelter here but we can't keep some of the people in it. Many want to live on the street because we want them to stop drinking and work. No free ticket for them I agree but it is sad to see them leave and sleep on the streets.
Boston has the same problem. Some just don't want to stay . They show up only when the weather is bad.
Many of them do have substance abuse problems. But due to federal and state funding cuts, treatment facilities for abuse are becoming more and more scarce. They are in a catch-22: they can't stay in the shelters as long as they are abusing, and they can't get help to quit abusing because those facilities are disappearing.
Also, many more of these are mentally disturbed, and again due to government cutbacks, most of which began during the Reagan administration by the way, mental institutions which formerly housed and treated these people were closed and the patients simply turned out into the streets, where they remain.
Record housing sales isn't always a good thing. It pushes the price of housing even farther out of reach for many working-class. While there are places that a 3-bedroom house in a safe area can be had for a decent price, houses in some areas are completely olut of reach. In our area, a three-bedroom house like mine, which is small, only has a carport, but is in a safe, comfortable area - definitely not high-class, are around $180,000. For an average working family, that is unattainable. The communities around here are now requiring 1/3 acre lots, full brick and stucco exteriors, and impact fees of $5,000 - 10,000 per house. These towns are forcing poorer families to look elsewhere, and we end up with communities that all look exactly the same with no character, and nothing but miles and miles of single-family homes on giant lots that require enormous amounts of water.
While high selling prices are great for sellers, they further a gap that exists between the working-class and the upper-class. It forces families to live farther and farther away from the work centers, which in turn causes increased pollution, urban sprawl, and in the case of the states in the west, more and more water use which is an already scarce commodity. This is one area where low interest rates are causing inflation that will eventually need to be brough under control. YMMV.
So it's the governments fault that you give homeless people a place to stay but they leave. Ok.
It may not be the government's fault that substance-abusers are addicted to whatever they are abusing, but as a compassionate society, we need to help get these people back on their feet, get off drugs, and get them to be productive members of society. I don't know if you personally know anyone who has a substance abuse problem - most can still function at an acceptable level to work, and pay the bills - but I have seen first-hand what can happen to a person who has so much going for them to throw it away in search of the next dosage to simply feel normal. Addicts need treatment not judgment.
As I learned in many history classes - a society is judged by how well it treats the lowliest members therein. While I believe that everyone is responsible for their own actions, there are appropriate times for a hand-up (not a hand-out).
Totally off-topic, I know.
Government is usually NOT the answer, but a cop-out.
There's a place in Denver called Step 13. It's a homeless shelter, halfway house, treatment center type place. It has the highest success rate of any center in Denver. It is also nearly self-supporting, and accepts no govenment funding because of the onerous, self-dooming, regulations.
i am suprised that home sales are doing so well yes intrest is low but osb whitch is the shell of most homes has tripled in the past year from 5 per board to 16 here and concrete by the YARD IS IN ALLOCATION OF 400 YARDS PER WEEK TO THE the supplier
Hmm. Considering that concrete is nothing more than a mix of certain kinds of dirt, rock, and water, I guess the old saying about "Buy land, they aren't making any more of it" must be true.
Similar things are happening here. Impact fees are scheduled to go from about $1800 per house to $5800 per house. The county commission recently tried to force changes in codes to require a minimum lot size of 1/3 acre for any new residential unit. Thankfully, this part did not pass, however the impact fees did pass. I paid $139,000 for my vintage 1965 house in 1995 after selling my house in Minnesnowta for $135,000. Neither house was a mansion by any means, just a normal 3/2 house. I pretty much did a direct swap since the prices were so close. I don't think a house can be found in my neighborhood now for under $300,000, meaning I could probably sell my house in that price area. The problem is that I would have to buy another house. If I wanted to step down in housing this would be no problem, but if I would want to improve my living conditions it would be a definite problem.
Only if they don't have to buy another house. It has to be getting tough though for first time buyers.
The crazy thing is that most of the concrete used in the US now is IMPORTED. China is sucking all excess production out of the market for the dam (not damn) project that they are working on. I have a customer at my mini storage business who is in the foundation business. He can get NO more cement for his projects and due to this has had to go to work for another company just to pay his bill with me. The street in front of my house is scheduled to be improved. The work was to start over a month ago and hasn't yet started because they can't get the cement to do the project. This is a serious problem here in Florida. I have heard that pricing on cement has more than trippled this year, adding still more to the normal Cement Block/Stucco housing construction used here in Florida.
The communities around here are now requiring 1/3 acre lots, full brick and stucco exteriors, and impact fees of $5,000 - 10,000 per house. These towns are forcing poorer families to look elsewhere, and we end up with communities that all look exactly the same with no character, and nothing but miles and miles of single-family homes on giant lots that require enormous amounts of water.
Of course on the opposite side is uncontrolled sprawl. If you reduce the requirements or have no impact fees, you get high density apartment housing that uses up much more water than a lawn, puts a lot of strain on the sewer systems and overloads the school districts. Thats the problem Atlanta is having now. Schools are waaay overcrowded, the sewer system is way over burdened and often overflows into the Chattahoochee, and we have water restrictions every year.
The county in which I live recently passed legislation that forbids any new apartment buildings. There aren't that many here already. Basically, there can be no multi-family dwellings constructed in this county anymore, not even a duplex. Though the commissioners give all sorts of lofty and complicated reasons for it, everybody knows the REAL reason, and everybody you ask about it will say so. It's to help keep the riff-raff out, and around here the riff-raff is essentially anyone who isn't white, middle-class, and Christian.
I lived a couple of places inside & outside the Perimeter - NE & South - and found that the riff-raff was the 'white trash'.
Aside: Is there any other city in the USA that's so paranoid that their beltway is called "The Perimeter"?
So true! Out here in Douglas County, it's not just the "white trash" but the influx of "ethnics" that have the establishment up in arms. The "white trash" has been tolerated as long as they know their place, but when the "darker folk" started moving in, well, something had to be done! Don't get me wrong, I love my house and I love my neighborhood and neighbors. But some of the things that go on out here just amazes me, that this is 2004 and this mentality still exists to this degree.
It's the same old story from the Liberals. Those who are willing to get by on their own and work hard should get taxed as much as possible. Those who drink themselves into the gutter should be given everything that those of us that are willing to work, have worked hard for.
Let's note that there's a difference between a bum and someone that's sick.
Help the sick, but house the bums in the liberal's houses.
I agree completely. I also, however, think that if your "illness" is due to your own decision to ruin your body with drugs and alcohol then you should share in a larger part of the responsibility to get well than the public should.
A large portion of my donation dollars goes to "Stand Down" which helps homeless vets. It is important to help get them off the street for their own health and well being as well as for the safety of the people in the city.
The homeless used to be picked up and forced into treatment (via mental institutions). But, then there were court rulings that said sorry, Americans have the right to be homeless, hooked on drugs/alchohol if they want and be homeless. In fact now most of the fights are over opening up areas that homeless can hang out in (i.e. cities try to pass laws restricting them from areas, and people sue to let them go there).
Unfortunately there are going to be a lot of homeless people no matter how good the economy is, no matter how many drug treatment centers there are, no matter how many homeless shelters there are... Many are not even on drugs/alchohol, many are mentally ill, but as long as they are not hurting someone they are just left to their own devices on the street.
It is a tough choice society has made...