HOUSING PRICES GOING UP, BUT …

#HousingPrices #AffordableHousing #HousingCosts
About a decade ago, we were hearing about people being forced out of their homes through foreclosure.
Today, we’re hearing about housing shortages, sky-high prices and high rents.
Rick Hampson tackled this issue in Los Angeles in an article for USA Today. It was also published May 20, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Hampson’s article calls this time the second Gilded Age. The first was in the late 1800s, when industrialization of the U.S. brought many immigrants, mostly from Europe, attracted by higher wages here than in their home countries.
“In this Gilded Age, like the one at the end of the 19th century, the gap between rich and poor is widening: monopolies have more power over business; business has more power over politics; and politics are close-fought and hyper-partisan,” Hampson writes.
In Los Angeles, where the cost of housing is out of sight, you have the mega-rich and the homeless huddled together.
Hampson writes about affluent areas like Bel Air, where a wildfire revealed a homeless encampment among pricey homes.
We all would like to live where we want. We all can’t afford, perhaps, to live where we might want, so we settle for living where we are.
We all can’t afford homes worth, say, $500 million, like the hilltop mansion in Bel Air that Hampson says is bigger than the White House.
Some of those homeless folks might be mentally ill. Some might just be urban outdoorsmen, to coin a phrase from retired radio talk show host Neal Boortz.
Some might have been victims of the recession 10 years ago. They’ve lost their homes to foreclosure, and can no longer afford another one – or even an apartment in California – at current prices.
One may not aspire to live in a $500 million hilltop home, but there are many ways people of modest means can better their lives, with a few hours a week part time. To check out one of the best such methods, message me.
The gap between rich and poor may be widening. Builders are not concentrating their efforts on building “affordable” housing. They are concentrating on building large homes for those who can, or want to, afford them.
Hampson goes on to say what Realtors in L.A. are doing to entice buyers. One even includes furniture, decorations and champagne with a home she is listing, he says.
Certainly, one could read this and think that it’s over the top. Perhaps you live in a small town in the middle of the country and cannot envision this happening where you are.
But the point is that housing prices are going up just about everywhere – especially in and around big cities.
Amazon is scouting places for its second headquarters that promises to bring 50,000 jobs. But amid all this prosperity are those who have very little.
We have to hope that as some prosper, others will be able to use what they leave behind to build a life of their own. The answer to homelessness is building more housing. It won’t get every homeless person off the street, but it may help the ones who’ve gotten there because of bad luck, and who want to work to create a better life.
Peter

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