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Thread: Nearly half of Americans can't afford survival basics....

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    There are no doubt all sorts of creative solutions but this country always seems behind the curve when it comes to addressing societal problems. Money I guess. Another factor raising the cost of housing is that so much of it is now investor or corporate owned. I read that rental home loans via large corporations are now bundled and sold as investments.
    Pinkytoe,
    another surprise to me is that investors are now getting into buying entire mobile home parks. There are seminars on how to do it - see the website Mobile Home University: https://www.mobilehomeuniversity.com/ The last housing refuge of the working poor or low-income retirees has now become a hot commodity.

  2. #42
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    There are no doubt all sorts of creative solutions but this country always seems behind the curve when it comes to addressing societal problems. Money I guess.
    Money, yes. It's also America's ethos of individualism and self-reliance; the U.S. is not the kind of collective society that Japan or many Scandinavian countries are. It's also American exceptionalism. And, increasingly, it's the deep-seated belief among too many people that societal problems are merely individual problems on a larger scale, and that if those on or near the safety nets would only work harder or exercise more or spend less money, they, too, would be among the winners in life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lainey
    The last housing refuge of the working poor or low-income retirees has now become a hot commodity.
    At a party a couple of weeks ago, I met an attorney who is running a non-profit geared to letting mobile-home-park renters form a cooperative that then buys out the park owners and lets the residents remain as a self-governing, self-funding group. He's been kind of busy. I don't know how much time he has to spend combatting zoning ordinances and building codes designed to keep manufactured housing out of the locales it currently inhabits. But it's a neat idea and I wish him a lot of success.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  3. #43
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lainey View Post
    Pinkytoe,
    another surprise to me is that investors are now getting into buying entire mobile home parks. There are seminars on how to do it - see the website Mobile Home University: https://www.mobilehomeuniversity.com/ The last housing refuge of the working poor or low-income retirees has now become a hot commodity.
    several years ago Ben Stein came to speak and he was touting mobile home parks. Personally I would not trust investors not to try to make them more upscale and up the rent.

  4. #44
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    In the summer we RV and there are lots of people out there full time RVing. There are BLM lands, state, county and national parks that are free or inexpensive to stay in. Many workcampers stay, or seasonal workers. You have to move every two weeks but it can be very cheap. Some Walmart’s and other restaurants let you stay in their lots, which we see all over the country. We have even met people who tent it full time. One day in a church parking lot there were young women in several cars sleeping.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lainey View Post
    After I graduated high school in the 70s, minimum wage was $2/hour which is $80 for a 40 hour work week. But an above garage apartment rented for $80/month which was 25% of your gross monthly income. That 25% - 33% guideline held true for many years but is now long-gone.
    If we as a country don't increase affordable housing stock we won't see progress on many other fronts.

    In the 70's around here, housing changed. Split levels, became the norm (and are bigger then the previous homes for the most part), and they had two car garages, as compared to most of the homes built in the 50's-60's that I am aware of.
    Then cities busted down on things like garage apartments, or apartments above stores, etc.
    That is all before the inflation period hit, with the start of the fuel crisis, and houses started routinely having central air (other expenses).

  6. #46
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    If we as a country don't increase affordable housing stock we won't see progress on many other fronts.
    actually the affordable qualifier isn't even necessary since it seems there might be a genuine shortage of housing period going on, well at least in this state, so almost increase housing stock period (yea with basic safety standards still enforced - that goes without saying). And yes of course housing that people actually live in not someone's investment speculation (that does take some off the market). And yes with some degree of density to provide enough housing (I think how much can be debated - I don't think it necessary does involve huge skyscraper apartments or anything). But whether it even needs to be affordable, in a genuine shortage just building more should help period.

    There may be benefits with experimenting with SROs etc. as they will house more more densely, it's not my ideal living arrangement, but probably necessary (I'd choose it over roommates in a second).
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  7. #47
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    this translates into an increasing state of hopelessness which turns into the current crime rate...........just my opinion.

  8. #48
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    We are seeing an increase of crime as our city has a bigger distance between the haves and have nots. A realtor told me that investors are selling now and when a new investor buys they up the rent to a price that is not affordable and people have nowhere to go. So much upscale housing being created but nothing for the little guy. REally sad.

  9. #49
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I saw a studio for rent in a private residence (I think), and thought of my BIL, but dropped that thought immediately when I saw that the price was just under $1000/mo. So the single person who could afford that, if you go by then old 30% rule, would have to earn almost $40k.

    Here's a Living Wage in New Jersey document that shows that you can make ends meet if you make $13.72 hour. Then you can afford a $1k/month place, at least by their calculations, which assume you are steadily working or getting paid for time off. But minimum wage in NJ is only $8.60 an hour, so you clearly can't even afford a studio.

    This is why I keep BEGGING BIL to watch his pennies and cut out expensive haircuts and highlights and convenience store coffee every day, and consider plunking his money down on a cheap place in Florida, because once he gets to the point where his money is gone and he's still making minimum wage at a seasonal job, he's screwed. But you know what they say about leading a horse to water.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  10. #50
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    because once he gets to the point where his money is gone and he's still making minimum wage at a seasonal job, he's screwed.
    Its likely he thinks that you will continue to support him. Why not? Someone always has.

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