You'll own nothing. They will own EVERYTHING!

No one doubts that there is a housing affordability crisis. The problem is the lack of solutions. At present the only solution that ever gets offered is 'build more houses'.
While that would help, no one ever bothers to mention that expanding supply in middle of an economic bubble usually doesn't work out well.

Other solutions such as changing the tax code, or even more dramatically, making housing a human right, are not even considered.
Think of it this way: when was the last time you heard someone celebrate rising food prices? Food is a basic need. You'll die without it. So why is rising housing prices a good thing when it will mean that thousands of families will become homeless and some of them will literally die from being homeless?

Putting it another way, we are in a crisis in which no one wants to change the status quo in a meaningful way.

The ruling elites don't even view the current housing crisis as a problem.
It's an opportunity. It's inevitable.

The boot-licking media has gotten their marching orders and have fallen into line.
If the sociopathic ruling elite like the current situation, then the media will spin it to be a good thing.

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Some boot-licking sycophants are more shameless than others.
The criminal gangsters that run Wall Street and their cronies will tell you that they are trying to help us, even when all of the evidence shows otherwise.

According to a recent study by the Alliance for Californians for Community Empowerment Action (ACCE), which spoke to more than 100 residents of single-family rental homes, tenants of these companies “are negatively impacted, with large annual rent increases, fee gouging, a high rate of evictions, and rampant habitability issues.”

A 2016 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta found that large corporate owners of single-family rentals in Fulton County, Georgia, were 8 percent more likely than small landlords to file eviction notices...
Recent moves to standardize leases and increase maintenance costs have proven profitable. Waypoint’s 2016 annual report cites a 51 percent increase, from $17 million to almost $26 million, in “other property income” like service charges, tenant chargebacks, late charges and early-termination charges. A former Waypoint CEO said failure to harvest the “low-hanging fruit” of ancillary revenues, such as fees, is “revenue leakage.”

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Now we are faced with millions of people being evicted and thrown out into the streets. And who is doing that? No, not Wall Street. They are the good guys.
Instead it's the Mom and Pop landlords that are doing the evicting, and are you really going to demonize the Mom and Pop landlord?
Except that once again, we are being fed the bait-and-switch.

Beset by COVID-19 and its fallout, local landlords are offloading their properties to cash-rich institutional investors, and America's real-estate market may never be the same...
Now the eviction ban is about to end - on Saturday. Yet thousands of local landlords have already quit the business...
Taking their place: institutional investors, broadly defined in the industry as firms owning more than 1,000 units.
...
About 23% of small landlords, owning between one and three single-family homes, planned to sell at least one property due to difficulties caused by the eviction ban, according to a February survey of 1,000 such owners by the National Rental Home Council, a Washington D.C.-based trade advocacy group.

There are millions of empty homes in this country, while children sleep on our streets.

The White House reports that as of 2019, over half a million Americans don’t have a home to sleep in on any given night, while almost 17 million potential homes were standing empty. If the overall numbers of homeless citizens weren’t shocking enough, between 2017 and 2019, there was an increase of over 34,000 unsheltered homeless people nationally - even before a global pandemic and expected recession.

All this, while the number of empty properties around the country has increased by over 1.1 million since 2010, leaving over 12% of all housing units in the US vacant as of the latest figures in 2018.
...
There are 59 empty properties for each homeless person in the US, an increase of 43% since 2010.
Since 2010, the number of empty properties per homeless person has increased 24%

The only shortage of homes are ones for sale. We've got a huge glut of empty homes.
So why is that? Simply, the wealthy ruling class has decided to return the economy to a rentier economy, like in the middle ages.
So let's look at a sampling of the actors involved. This is only a sampling.
We'll start with someone who is really easy to hate because he's measurably evil.

Billionaire Charles Koch’s foundation has bankrolled three conservative legal groups leading the court battle to eliminate prohibitions against tenant evictions during the Covid-19 pandemic in America.

At the same time, Koch’s corporate empire has suddenly stepped up its real estate purchases during the pandemic – including making large investments in real estate companies with a potential financial interest in eliminating eviction restrictions.
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Last April, a month into the pandemic, Koch Real Estate Investments made a “$200m preferred-equity investment in Amherst Holdings LLC’s single-family rental business”, according to the corporate law firm Jones Day, which said it advised the Koch Industries subsidiary on the deal. Amherst says that since 2012, “its affiliated funds have acquired and operated more than 30,000 homes”.

Starting last May, Koch Real Estate Investments began a financial relationship with Ladder Capital Corp., culminating in a $32m equity investment in December. Ladder finances residential real estate, and the Wall Street Journal recently reported that its subsidiaries’ loans to Donald Trump have been scrutinized by prosecutors.

Just so we're clear: This country has intentionally chosen to see it's children homeless, rather than claw back just a tiny fraction of the profits of the ruling elites.
That really pisses me off.

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usefewersyllables's picture

it has been going on for a long time. We joined the ranks of the asset-free when we had to bail out of our property in the last crash, and have no current plans to buy back into the real estate roulette game- at least until after the next crash, if there's anything left. We have already taken our bath there, and we're now old enough that it makes zero sense to enter into a 30-year mortgage. I just don't feel like feeding the sharks, especially when it is my ass that I'd be feeding them.

We rent a single family home from a private owner: we actually live in his family home and keep it up for him. It's paid for, so our rent is mostly pure profit for him after taxes and the HOA graft and corruption, and we have a longish lease. So he has been very kind with not ratcheting up the greed thus far- we pay far less than the corporate-owned, high-density apartments/condos that are springing up everywhere. That's letting us pay off the feds and get ever closer to being debt-free, at which point we can die with pride as Freeeeee Amurikans. If he ever decides to sell it (probably to some institutional schmucks who would quadruple the rent), we'll be out in the cold. In which case we'll do the living-in-the-car thing, most likely, unless we've saved up enough to buy a clapped-out RV and hit the road.

People still talk about the Amurikan Dream, and all I can do is think "Everybody gets their turn in the barrel". To quote Tommy Lee Jones from MIB, "Try it and get back to me". Not a fan.

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16 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

QMS's picture

@usefewersyllables

An older, well built Wells Cargo Tote Wagon. Big enough to install a bunk, space for batteries, clothes,
small reefer, water jugs and a bucket. Faakit, if they come for my home, I got elsewhere to roam.
Feel bad for the unprepared.

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6 users have voted.

@usefewersyllables
After inflation, it's negative, the bank is paying you. Except the bank already sold the mortgage to an aggregator who resells shares to pension plans, so the suckers are paying the bank the interest that you're not.

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7 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

usefewersyllables's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

that the lenders don't laugh you out the door. Our credit rating is the wrong color on Experian's lovely scale, since the requisite number of years hasn't elapsed yet. So if someone would actually lend to us, the rate would be somewhat higher. Laughably higher, the last time I bothered to look into it. Talk about a pointless effort.

We would arguably have done better to leave the keys in the mailbox and walk away immediately when the crash hit us, rather than struggle mightily to keep everything together and ultimately make the problem worse for a couple of years. The "all-is-forgiven" clock would have started ticking earlier, and we'd have gotten into better shape sooner.

Meh. Ya live, ya learn.

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6 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

@usefewersyllables
for the outlandish price of $349,900.00 On the market for seven days. Buyer has a 2.2% mortgage. even with $8,000 a year taxes, the monthly payment is substantially below one bedroom apartment rents ($2,000 a month minimum).

Hoping to get anything near that and debunk to Lookout's territory (but rather nearer to healthcare at UAB) and leave this crazy overcrowded ovetaxed place behind.

EDIT:
Spelling

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6 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

@usefewersyllables I can help.

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6 users have voted.
usefewersyllables's picture

@on the cusp

for the kind offer. If that should come to pass, I most assuredly will!

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4 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

of water. Will it put the fire out at all? Stay tuned.

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13 users have voted.

NYCVG

@NYCVG That is more accurate, missy.

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8 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

...and I can't help but notice that your opening paragraph perfectly describes the pitfalls that have mired this nation's infrastructure. To paraphrase:

No one doubts that the US has an infrastructure affordability crisis. The problem is the lack of solutions. At present the only solution that typicallyk gets offered is 'build more roads.' While that would help relieve congestion in the short-run, no one ever bothers to mention that expanding the supply of roads simply creates more cars and single drivers. This, in the middle of a climate change crisis that has us scrambling to become carbon-neutral. Promising to create new infrastructure jobs will help fill the new roads with more people trying to get to work, Our capitalist economy demands a permanently expanding population, and yet, that economy is too weak, apparently, to support the growing population with sustainable transportation or affordable housing. Nor can capitalism accommodate the population with such human rights as universal health care or a complete education. All of it is infrastructure.

.

I don't mean to deflect from the housing crisis, which is the issue of this time. But it occurs to me that all of our most pressing domestic issues and injustices are institutional ones, and they are resting on a foundation of neglect and indifference. That which is not profitable is deemed both wasteful and sinful, and the people who are served are held in contempt. Regulations and penalties apply to the people served but are lifted from the bureaucrats doing the serving. Transportation, education, public health, housing, broadband communications, agriculture and nutrition and other public service institutions — they all comprise our national infrastructure. Over the years, the people being served have been delibertly neglected or their efforts sabotaged. And the state of the public service institutions, themselves, have been savagely underfunded, degraded, and demoralized. They are largely aimless and dysfunctional under capitalism — especially capitalism with US characteristics.

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17 users have voted.

Add some Truth to your daily news. CGTN — See the difference!

gulfgal98's picture

@Pluto's Republic What a terrific comment. I tend to look at things from a big picture perspective and your comment does just that

Transportation, education, public health, housing, broadband communications, agriculture and nutrition and other public service institutions — they all comprise our national infrastructure. Over the years, the people being served have been delibertly neglected or their efforts sabotaged. And the state of the public service institutions, themselves, have been savagely underfunded, degraded, and demoralized.

The great god of capitalism (especially the US brand) is actually the devil. Our government has been totally captured by the oligarchs and we are now seeing the results of that capture.

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12 users have voted.

Do I hear the sound of guillotines being constructed?

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

Shahryar's picture

when it's clear it means no such thing. "Sure, the new condos are expensive but people will move from their current places into them and the old places will be available and affordable."

But of course the older places just raise their rents. Meanwhile when politicians say they won't regulate rent but let "the market value" decide, they deliberately ignore that half of the new apartments are empty and that the building owners (often offshore companies) refuse to let the market decide, but prefer to keep empty apartments rather than lower rent. And that, I believe, is because these buildings are not intended to house anyone but are built as investments.

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15 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

@Shahryar Another thing I have noticed for some time in my area is the buying up of affordable or what is often called work force housing by the rentier class and those units being converted into Air B & B or VRBO units.

The units that I have witnessed being converted to short term "vacation" rentals are often those in the affordable price range for workforce housing. But these units are often bought up without even ever making the open market.

As one property owner told me directly, a vacation rental can garner as much or more profit in one week than it can as a long term rental. Many states and localities have laws that prevent the regulation of short term rentals.

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10 users have voted.

Do I hear the sound of guillotines being constructed?

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy