Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The RENT Is too Damn High!

I read this this morning at the Daily Kos and it really made my blood boil. See, I'm very very poor, I have to post these at the New Orleans Public Library with limited time (1 to 2 hours combined with other work to do) and also I can't afford the $1,200 a month rent (now $1,500!?) for a two-bedroom apartment in New Orleans. Which means I have to make * ahem * "other arrangements."

The RENT is too damn high!

From the Daily Kos:

The rent crisis will only get worse.

Mon Sep 21, 2015 at 11:29 AM PDT
In December 2013, Shaun Donovan, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, gave this warning:
 "We are in the midst of the worst rental affordability crisis that this country has known."
Few paid attention to the warning, and of those who did, even fewer would have guessed that the crisis had only just started.

Today a new report came out showing that the most likely future scenario means difficult times are in store for renters.
The number of U.S. households that spend at least half their income on rent—the "severely cost-burdened," in the lingo of housing experts—could increase 25 percent to 14.8 million over the next decade. More than 1 million households headed by Hispanics and more than 1 million headed by the elderly could pass into those ranks...
To put that into perspective, a household that spends half of its income on rent means no savings, no retirement, no health insurance, no break from living paycheck-to-paycheck.

While this is really hitting the older generation, it is showing effects on the younger generation as well.
One lasting scar from the deepest recession since the 1930s is the phenomenon of young adults, facing their own financial challenges, forced to squeeze in the homes of their parents. And new data show the trend is getting worse, not better .

In 2015, 15.1 percent of  25 to 34 year olds were living with their parents, a fourth straight annual increase, according to an analysis of new Census Bureau data by the Population Reference Bureau in Washington. The proportion is the highest since at least 1960, according to demographer Mark Mather, associate vice president with PRB.

"It takes young people longer these days to find jobs with decent wages," Mather said. "Young adults need to spend more time getting the necessary education and skills before they can become self-sufficient. The recession likely exacerbated this trend."
Indubitably. After I graduated from College down in Miami, I had to live with roommates -- sometimes bad roommates -- in apartments and condos in so-called suburban "neighborhoods" where the defining characteristic was endless driving utopia sprawl. I really hated it. Hated it so much, that I got a job in Boston, moved up north, and had to live with bad roommates AGAIN due to the extremely high cost of rental housing there at the time. The local media even said Bostonians had the lowest real wages of any metropolitan area at the time (1985).

And of course, it's only gotten worse up there since then. Just go to Craig's List and check out the rentals for greater Boston!

And now youth are increasingly having to live in with their parents. Wonderful. Of course, the parents' houses are usually in sprawl-burbia, which means they have to drive everywhere so and until they can dig themselves out of student debt and save up enough to buy a house. By that time the cities will be all gentrified and they'll have to live in the inner ring of suburbia with all the ghetto trash, or find a house close to their parents'. Either option is not good because all this is contingent on us Americans to continue to get enough raw materials and consumer goods to keep up this auto-centred pattern of living. As if Peak Oil were no object... the downslopes of oil and other fossil fuel extractions to come will make these same suburbs implode.

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