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Ways out of the Affordable Housing Crisis

Someone wrote on OregonLive.com that Portland rents have doubled in the last five years. We are children of darkness and/or victims of state failure and market failure. Shriveling the financial sector and expanding the public sector are lessons from the 2008 financial meltdown. All personal and corporate success is based on state investments in schools, libraries, hospitals, roads, airwaves, food safety, and water quality. This letter was sent on July 21, 2017 with no response.
Dear Mayor Wheeler and Portland Commissioners,

Someone on Oregonlive.com said Portland rents have doubled in the last 5 years. To me, this is prima facia evidence we are children of darkness. Is there a right to turn housing into a speculative pot of gold?

Years ago I said to people in Eugene that the whole country was squeezing into Portland. For a variety of reasons, people are no longer living near the Mississippi River but are concentrated on the coasts. Thus the US is becoming a giant dust bowl with people populating the coasts. State failure and market failure are the proximate causes since people would mostly stay put if they were not upended by economic dislocations.

The state should protect the social peace. Nevertheless, the neoliberal regime only protects owners and capital. I am translating a German article from Freitag.de that grapples with the rising rents in Berlin and ways out of the crisis.

A political solution is necessary. 1) The federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program has created 3 million units. 2) A non-profit or cooperative housing sector is necessary since private developers cannot or will not build inexpensive or affordable housing. 3) SRO-hotels with shared kitchens and shared bathrooms are ecologically sensible, promote a sense of community and are worlds better than warehouses or prisons. 4) The Vancouver BC model of community centers and refurbished hotels is different from the SF-condo model. The Biltmore on 6th and NW Everett operated by Central City Concern is a good example of a viable SRO. On another subject, The Collective at 4th and Harrison seems to be the mother-of-all-office buildings and a boondoggle to make other boondoggles tolerable. Why not change the name to "The Hocus Pocus" or "The Ryan-McConnell Overkill"?

After 40 years of neoliberal trickle-down economic mythology with tax favors showered on corporations and redistribution from bottom to top, the time is right for redistribution from top to bottom. States and cities must resist the myths and fairy-tales of the Trumpian tax plan that could lead to $2 trillion or $7 trillion in tax shortfalls over the next ten years. Inequality hurts, Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz has emphasized in articles and books. Without the social contract, we become wolves to each other and head for a gloomy Orwellian future of corporate feudalism.

I look forward to your comments. My website offers over 800 translated articles on the economic crisis. Openculture.com gives us 1150 free movies (including the 9-minute video "Alice in Wonderland" from 1913!). Grin.com, a Munich publisher, has 187K books with reading samples. A whole universe opens up! Enjoy the feast! Surely it is time to abandon resignation and provinciality and think more of sharing, solidarity, counter-measures and future imperatives.

Thanks for your time and attention.
Marc Batko
www.freembtranslations.net

homepage: homepage: http://www.freembtranslations.net
address: address: www.onthecommons.org


The US's Public Housing Crisis May Worsen With Trump Budget 23.Jul.2017 08:15

Lawrence Vale

 link to www.truth-out.org

The American supply of what is conventionally called public housing -- heavily subsidized housing for low-income households owned and operated by the government -- peaked in the early 1990s at about 1.4 million apartments. Since then, approximately 20 percent of it has been demolished. Over the last 50 years, the federal government has introduced many other new forms of public-private subsidized housing programs.

Even so, the total supply serving those with the lowest incomes has declined. Moreover, much of the housing that remains requires funds to repair or replace aging buildings and failing infrastructure. While supply declines, demonstrated need continues to increase.

As I see it, the drastic US $6 billion cut to the Department of Housing and Urban Development's funding proposed in President Donald Trump's 2018 budget could not come at a worse time.

In late 2013, Obama's HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan observed that Americans were in the midst of "the worst rental affordability crisis that this country has known." That crisis persists.

Lawrence Vale is the Ford Professor of Urban Design and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lawrence Vale is a member of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

What about worldwide displacement? 16.Aug.2017 11:46

Erasmus

You stated: *people would mostly stay put if they were not upended by economic dislocations*

I couldn't agree more with that. However, there's a lot in that comment that upends much of what progressive ideology. An enormous amount of energy is put into so called "immigrant rights" and "diversity" but the reasons people are migrating and creating this so called "melting pot" is never discussed among progressives. Ask somebody and you'll get pithy little catchphrases like: "They're just searching for a better life"

Why is our consumer culture a "better way of life"? Who made that assumption? Why are their cultures "less" than ours? Because they don't have as much money or modern conveniences? Our educational system is better than their ancestral knowledge?

Why are they being upended by "dislocations"? Actually that's false, most immigrants are not "conflict refugees" or "economic refugees", they make up only a small percentage of immigrants, most actually come from Europe or other 1st world countries, a little known fact that doesn't get reported. However, most 3rd world immigrants are not fleeing "war" or starvation either. There has been a fairly significant number of immigrants from Libya, due to Obama and Hillary's genocidal destruction of the countries infrastructure, but most Middle East immigrants don't originate from that one country.

I guess my point is that people are being brainwashed into thinking they must come to the US because they have "less" than we do. They believe they are being "economically dislocated" but in reality, life is not necessarily better here.

discussion

What the Gutting of Sears Tells Us About America 23.Jul.2017 15:13

Sam Pizzigati


Time on our Side by Anna Coote 15.Aug.2017 20:37

New Economics Foundation

Anna Coote in the New Economics Foundation in the UK urges a 30-hour work week. Her first idea was a 21 hour week but changed to 30 hours to win more people. Download the 30-page introduction!

 http://b.3cdn.net/nefoundation/aefb306fbab76f46ca_1im6i20sk.pdf

http://www.freembtranslations.net
www.openculture.com