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A generation with its hand out...

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,552
Location
New Forest
But there is a housing crunch in our more desirable locales. It takes one full-time working class job to cover housing costs for a typical family just getting into the market these days.
The housing problem runs through all the richer countries. The English speaking countries attract more than most simply because of the language. English is the modern day equivalent to Latin.
High property prices, rising rents and sluggish rates of new-build, the UK is facing a crisis of housing affordability.
According to the retail price index, the inflation rate over the period of time that I have lived at my current address means the property would have doubled in price. It's quadrupled. Tony's point of one working class job covering the costs of a modest home is just as accurate here. Taking up on what Benny described, affordable housing in Australia is no more, and our friends in Canada would probably concur a similar scenario.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
33,350
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
We've had several homeless camps appear here -- in a town of about 7000 people. One was a long established, semi-permanent compound on along the waterfront, behind a metal-fabrication plant. You wouldn't know it was there unless you went looking for it, and it was populated by a hardened group of people who did not make you feel welcome if you happened to stumble on their settlement. Another existed in the woods behind the Congregational Church, and was mostly made up of tents pitched by people who had been dispossessed by drugs, liquor, or gentrification. The church has made several attempts to dissolve this settlement, but after a while it always seems to reappear.

The housing crisis here -- one driven entirely by the three-horned beast of real estate speculation, short-term rentals, and gentrification -- is very real, and I know multiple people who are presently one step away from either being driven out of town or rendered homeless because of it. One former co-worker had the choice of living in a boardinghouse overrun with rats and filth or living in his car. When he realized what living in his car during a Maine winter would be like, he came up with his only other option, and moved 2000 miles back west to move in with his parents.

Most businesses here are chronically understaffed, and those of us who remain are severely overworked. I have a home, but I am able to spend so little time in it due to work needs that I might as well live in a shipping container on a dock. Someone here was doing that too -- until they found him dead inside it.
 
Messages
10,758
Location
My mother's basement
A nothing-particularly-special-about-it house that might sell for a million bucks or more in the hotter real estate markets (the median house price in King County, Washington now exceeds $1M) might be had for a small fraction of that price in rural Indiana, say, or Mississippi.

Relocating has proven tempting to people who bought their homes in those now-pricey locales several decades ago. Sell the place and have a comfortable retirement in Outer Bum**ck with the proceeds. The people we bought our present place from nine years ago (its market value has nearly doubled since then) did just that — they decamped to Nebraska.

But this can’t help but have an inflationary effect in those “less desirable” locales. So, good for the people bringing their satchels full of cash, but not so good for the working stiffs living there.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
33,350
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
Our Wealthy Retirees, may their names be a blessing and a thing of joy forever, are now discovering just what it means to come into a town swinging your checkbook at the locals like a cudgel. It always makes me smile when somebody complains that their favorite twee little restaurant had to cut its hours because "nobody around here wants to wait tables." No, Dickie dear, nobody who waits tables can afford to drive forty miles each way just to dish up your Eggs Benedict.
 
Messages
10,597
Location
vancouver, canada
The housing problem runs through all the richer countries. The English speaking countries attract more than most simply because of the language. English is the modern day equivalent to Latin.
High property prices, rising rents and sluggish rates of new-build, the UK is facing a crisis of housing affordability.
According to the retail price index, the inflation rate over the period of time that I have lived at my current address means the property would have doubled in price. It's quadrupled. Tony's point of one working class job covering the costs of a modest home is just as accurate here. Taking up on what Benny described, affordable housing in Australia is no more, and our friends in Canada would probably concur a similar scenario.
There are at least two distinct types of homelessness in these parts. The vast majority living in the squalid tent cities that have popped up in various parts of town are populated by the mentally ill and the addicted. They are places of violence, squalor, disease. The denizens resist living in shelters as it restricts their life style.....i.e.drug use, keeping of dogs etc. There are others living rough due to the high cost of housing, Vancouver is listed as the 3rd most expensive locale in the world, but there are shelters available for these. If they choose to not live in a shelter they are likely living in cars, smaller RV's on quiet side streets or some other out of the fray location. They would not likely be found in one of these large encampments as they are places only the addicted and/or mentally ill would choose.
 
Messages
10,597
Location
vancouver, canada
A nothing-particularly-special-about-it house that might sell for a million bucks or more in the hotter real estate markets (the median house price in King County, Washington now exceeds $1M) might be had for a small fraction of that price in rural Indiana, say, or Mississippi.

Relocating has proven tempting to people who bought their homes in those now-pricey locales several decades ago. Sell the place and have a comfortable retirement in Outer Bum**ck with the proceeds. The people we bought our present place from nine years ago (its market value has nearly doubled since then) did just that — they decamped to Nebraska.

But this can’t help but have an inflationary effect in those “less desirable” locales. So, good for the people bringing their satchels full of cash, but not so good for the working stiffs living there.
Yes, we had many a conversation with small town Montanans and Idahoans about the effect of wealthy Coloradens and Californians moving into town and wrecking the place. In Montana the plain folk look down on Bozeman as a monument to what can happen to a nice town when the wealthy outsiders take over the joint.
I just hope there are enough wealthy immigrants arriving, when the time comes, so I have somebody with deep enough pockets to sell my house to.
 
Messages
10,758
Location
My mother's basement
^^^^^^
Perspective, eh? As in “how things look depends on where you’re standing.”

I ain’t rich, but I’m not housing or food insecure and I have access to high quality healthcare. This matters much more than it did in my younger days, for obvious reasons.
 
Messages
10,597
Location
vancouver, canada
^^^^^^
Perspective, eh? As in “how things look depends on where you’re standing.”

I ain’t rich, but I’m not housing or food insecure and I have access to high quality healthcare. This matters much more than it did in my younger days, for obvious reasons.
We have access to high quality health care but one must have patience and hope we don't die whilst waiting for that high quality care. My brother has been waiting 3 years for a procedure that was deemed an emergency....3 years ago.......he still does not have a date. He has been waiting 4 years to see a dermatologist for a skin lesion that may be cancerous. Us cynics up here have coined a new phrase to be used on the death cert......"Death by Wait List"
 
Messages
10,758
Location
My mother's basement
… If they choose to not live in a shelter they are likely living in cars, smaller RV's on quiet side streets or some other out of the fray location. They would not likely be found in one of these large encampments as they are places only the addicted and/or mentally ill would choose.
Warm and dry beats the hell out of wet and cold.

Back 25 years or so I worked at a since-defunct publication serving a district with multiple marinas that were home to a sizable liveaboard community. Some of those people were commercial fishermen and -women who lived aboard while they were in town for repairs and maintenance and provisioning; some were quasi-bohemian types living in decrepit old fishing vessels, mostly; but most were what might be called “yuppies,” who lived aboard sailboats, mostly, at the more secure and better-appointed marinas. Those people had ready access to shore power and sanitation, and showers and laundry facilities.

I heard no complaints about the liveaboards, but the grumblings about the motor vehicle dwellers become louder and more frequent at a rate pretty much commensurate with the frequency of the phenomenon itself.

I offered that if the people who lived in their cars and old motorhomes and school buses (which can be had cheap, often for not much more than their scrap value) had access to the amenities enjoyed by the liveaboards, most of the objections to their presence might be addressed.

But no. Living aboard a boat has a certain cachet. Living in a ratty ‘74 Winnebago doesn’t. It’s not a matter of safety so much as aesthetics and social class.

There still exist trailer parks where people reside permanently (or semi-permanently) in travel trailers and motorhomes. Those places are not without their charm, some of them.

Friends now living in a yurt had lived for several years in a fifth wheel trailer at one of those trailer parks. It was a pleasant scene in its way, and I admired and respected them for living within their means, in one of the more expensive areas in the country.

More of those kinds of facilities won’t solve homelessness, of course. People living in such places aren’t the hard cases. But I’m all for legitimizing and destigmatizing it. If it’s warm and dry, be it ever so humble, it does what it has to do.
 
Messages
10,597
Location
vancouver, canada
Warm and dry beats the hell out of wet and cold.

Back 25 years or so I worked at a since-defunct publication serving a district with multiple marinas that were home to a sizable liveaboard community. Some of those people were commercial fishermen and -women who lived aboard while they were in town for repairs and maintenance and provisioning; some were quasi-bohemian types living in decrepit old fishing vessels, mostly; but most were what might be called “yuppies,” who lived aboard sailboats, mostly, at the more secure and better-appointed marinas. Those people had ready access to shore power and sanitation, and showers and laundry facilities.

I heard no complaints about the liveaboards, but the grumblings about the motor vehicle dwellers become louder and more frequent at a rate pretty much commensurate with the frequency of the phenomenon itself.

I offered that if the people who lived in their cars and old motorhomes and school buses (which can be had cheap, often for not much more than their scrap value) had access to the amenities enjoyed by the liveaboards, most of the objections to their presence might be addressed.

But no. Living aboard a boat has a certain cachet. Living in a ratty ‘74 Winnebago doesn’t. It’s not a matter of safety so much as aesthetics and social class.

There still exist trailer parks where people reside permanently (or semi-permanently) in travel trailers and motorhomes. Those places are not without their charm, some of them.

Friends now living in a yurt had lived for several years in a fifth wheel trailer at one of those trailer parks. It was a pleasant scene in its way, and I admired and respected them for living within their means, in one of the more expensive areas in the country.

More of those kinds of facilities won’t solve homelessness, of course. People living in such places aren’t the hard cases. But I’m all for legitimizing and destigmatizing it. If it’s warm and dry, be it ever so humble, it does what it has to do.
The downside of folks living rough in RV's/boats is related to the sanitation issue. We have 'pirate' boats living in False Creek....about the most expensive real estate in the city. When their sewage tanks fill they just open the valve and dump it. Same is true for the RV's. They don't bother to locate a sanitation dump as that would require great effort . So they tend to find a storm drain nearby and dump the sewage there or just dump the sewage and drive away. One is not so much a problem, hundreds then tend to become one. But that too is the downside for society of having members living outside the norm. They have no skin in the game, so dumping sewage and moving on just becomes routinized. They don't care as they may never pass that way again.
 
Messages
10,758
Location
My mother's basement
^^^^^
It would seem smart, then, to promote a greater sense of belonging in the community. The rub is in how that might be accomplished. I have a pretty good sense of how NOT to do it, though. People know when someone is blowing smoke up their skirts. But something tangible, such as ready access to RV dumps, might be more meaningful.

Transients aren’t the only ones with little skin the game, though. Property developers often have no stake in a community once they’ve sold the apartment complex or whatever. And the buyers often don’t plan to hold the property indefinitely, either. I don’t hold these people solely responsible for so much of the truly uninspired architecture popping up around here, but I don’t absolve them, either. It’s shortsightedness, and it’s left to those who live and may well die here to make the best of what others have wrought.
 
Messages
10,597
Location
vancouver, canada
^^^^^
It would seem smart, then, to promote a greater sense of belonging in the community. The rub is in how that might be accomplished. I have a pretty good sense of how NOT to do it, though. People know when someone is blowing smoke up their skirts. But something tangible, such as ready access to RV dumps, might be more meaningful.

Transients aren’t the only ones with little skin the game, though. Property developers often have no stake in a community once they’ve sold the apartment complex or whatever. And the buyers often don’t plan to hold the property indefinitely, either. I don’t hold these people solely responsible for so much of the truly uninspired architecture popping up around here, but I don’t absolve them, either. It’s shortsightedness, and it’s left to those who live and may well die here to make the best of what others have wrought.
The issue with catering (for lack of a better word in this moment) to those who want to free camp in an RV is the old saw....."If you build it, they will come." Denver has started giving the homeless $1000 a month. It shall be interesting to see how that works out in the long term. I think it is San Antonio that is claiming success with its homeless village concept that are integrated living arrangements with full support services; job counselling, addiction counselling, job prep, etc etc.
 
Messages
10,758
Location
My mother's basement
How old is that old saw? 1989?

I’m not here to defend the Denver basic income experiment, but I can offer that it’s a limited program started late in 2022 and the city’s latest contribution — $2 million — is extended through this July. It has doled out amounts ranging from $500 to $1000 monthly to some 800 people. Other funding came from federal COVID relief and from private foundations and individuals.

Opinions as to the results (it’s still waaay too early to assess, but wotthehell) tell us more about the perspectives of the speakers than the program itself. I’m skeptical of it, but nobody, myself included, is in a position to say it has done more good than harm or vice-versa.

In Seattle there’s a “wet house,” where chronic street inebriates are housed and where they are free to get as soused as they wish. This rubs not a few people the wrong way. The taxpayers‘ money is being spent on people who make no apparent contribution to the greater good, and it only further enables that self-destructive behavior. But the reality is that these people will be getting soused daily anyway and then literally picked up off the sidewalk by the good men and women of the Seattle Fire Department and transported up to Harborview. The FD personnel and the folks at Harborview got to be on first name bases with these characters, who were sometimes referred to as GOMERs — Grand Old Men of the Emergency Room.

Sometimes there are no good choices, only less bad ones. It costs less to house these souls than to leave them out on the street. Perhaps we value their lives more than they value their own. But we do value their lives, don’t we?

Me, I’m happy to provide public RV dumps. Pooping is a basic human function, for rich and for poor, and everybody’s stinks, even those who hardly believe it themselves.
The issue with catering (for lack of a better word in this moment) to those who want to free camp in an RV is the old saw....."If you build it, they will come." Denver has started giving the homeless $1000 a month. It shall be interesting to see how that works out in the long term. I think it is San Antonio that is claiming success with its homeless village concept that are integrated living arrangements with full support services; job counselling, addiction counselling, job prep, etc etc.
 
Messages
10,597
Location
vancouver, canada
How old is that old saw? 1989?

I’m not here to defend the Denver basic income experiment, but I can offer that it’s a limited program started late in 2022 and the city’s latest contribution — $2 million — is extended through this July. It has doled out amounts ranging from $500 to $1000 monthly to some 800 people. Other funding came from federal COVID relief and from private foundations and individuals.

Opinions as to the results (it’s still waaay too early to assess, but wotthehell) tell us more about the perspectives of the speakers than the program itself. I’m skeptical of it, but nobody, myself included, is in a position to say it has done more good than harm or vice-versa.

In Seattle there’s a “wet house,” where chronic street inebriates are housed and where they are free to get as soused as they wish. This rubs not a few people the wrong way. The taxpayers‘ money is being spent on people who make no apparent contribution to the greater good, and it only further enables that self-destructive behavior. But the reality is that these people will be getting soused daily anyway and then literally picked up off the sidewalk by the good men and women of the Seattle Fire Department and transported up to Harborview. The FD personnel and the folks at Harborview got to be on first name bases with these characters, who were sometimes referred to as GOMERs — Grand Old Men of the Emergency Room.

Sometimes there are no good choices, only less bad ones. It costs less to house these souls than to leave them out on the street. Perhaps we value their lives more than they value their own. But we do value their lives, don’t we?

Me, I’m happy to provide public RV dumps. Pooping is a basic human function, for rich and for poor, and everybody’s stinks, even those who hardly believe it themselves.
It is truly the Thomas Sowell maxim....."Never any solutions, only tradeoffs."
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
33,350
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
An update on our sidewalk resident from last winter -- I learned yesterday that she'd finally been placed under treatment only after losing a leg to gangrene. That is, I guess, what it takes to finally galvanize the authorities into action.
 
Messages
10,758
Location
My mother's basement
An update on our sidewalk resident from last winter -- I learned yesterday that she'd finally been placed under treatment only after losing a leg to gangrene. That is, I guess, what it takes to finally galvanize the authorities into action.
A friend’s job entails determining whether or not people are placed under 72-hour mental health holds. It’s mostly done when the people in question are displaying signs of doing imminent physical harm to themselves or others. We ain’t talking getting blotto or running off to Vegas to marry the guy she met in a bar two days ago.

I wish I knew a better way. We don’t approve of people destroying themselves and making pests of themselves while so doing, but I wouldn’t want involuntary commitment to be less burdensome than it is. Just imagine what an authoritarian regime would do with the power to call dissidents insane.
 
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Bugguy

Practically Family
Messages
565
Location
Nashville, TN
In keeping with the charity theme as related to housing, I vacillate between Goodwill , SA and Habitat for Humanities. The path of least resistance, i.e. easiest drop-off, is Goodwill. Unfortunately, they've become difficult to work with and less willing to accept many items they've taken in the past. Given the volume of items they take in, their downstream handling of donated items is not transparent. They've become expensive relative to other thrift stores, or even Walmart, etc. and skim the nicer items for EBay.

SA is not convenient where I 've lived and again, was fussy about what they''d take.

My current go-to is Habitat. I've been doing renovation in two houses and they appear genuinely pleased with my doors, windows, sinks, etc. Furniture, appliances, lawn tools, sporting goods and the like are usually priced and out on the floor before I leave the store. No clothing, but they accept more of the harder to move items that I bring in. Best part,... I shop the building supply area and have made some really nice buys on tools, plumbing, doors and lawn equipment.

I think all 3 have their place in the re-use/charity food chain and from what I've seen, distribute the majority of their revenues to their missions. One in particular has some warts, but unfortunately it's to be expected given the size of the organization.

One side comment, Habitat is the only charity that has been hands-on continuously and visibly supported by an ex-President. Politics aside, I remain impressed with that.
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,552
Location
New Forest
This thread title: "A generation with it's hand out," came to mind yesterday. Some elements of UK society imply that foreigners, settling here, do so because of our generous welfare system. My experience yesterday tells me that's not true.

The face lift currently going on at my home in preparation to sell the property is in the hands of a very good carpenter, come builder, who hails from Latvia.

Whilst shopping for a few grocery items for Tina I saw the checkout lady's name badge, she was Polish.

The car was washed at the regular hand car wash, the proprietor, who is in love with my old MG, asked me when it will be seen again. I asked where he was from. Kurdistan, from memory that's a region of Iraq.

Those three foreigners are settled here because this country gives them opportunity and how they have capitalised on it.
 
Messages
10,758
Location
My mother's basement
^^^^^
Yeah, while maintaining mindfulness of forbidden territory in these parts, I can offer that my experience with the more recent arrivals to this fair land has left me with admiration and respect for the bulk of them, more so, on balance, than for my fellow countrymen whose ancestors settled here several generations ago.

It’s no small thing to leave behind all one has known to start over in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar customs where one must became at least minimally conversant in an unfamiliar language and deal with characters who would rather that person not be there at all.

We denizens of the so-called “Western world” (throw in Japan and South Korea and Australia) shouldn’t lose sight of all we have. We ought not blind ourselves to the sins of our ancestors, either, but nor should we disregard why immigration flows our direction and not toward the less free and less affluent countries.
 
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