Great feedback to my blog and posts about the state of homeless housing in the United States, has been pouring in. I get comments from folks struggling with poverty, with homelessness, and with the threat of homelessness and what that does to their psyches. I also get comments from the Haves among my friends on Facebook whose responses to the fear of an elderly woman becoming homeless again and dying on the streets like her friends have can be so cold it could re-freeze Antarctica. One said “Sadly she did not plan for the future during her youth, Trish House . It is important that when we can still work figure out how we are going to survive when we get old and cannot work anymore.” While there is an element of truth in that, in the comment is implied that she didn’t plan so she deserves to die on the streets.
One person who is receiving disability payments and housing aid is very versed in the status of the aid available to folks and she provided this “
As of FY 2015, 5.5 million households were receiving some type of rental assistance. 85% of their $46.5 billion dollar budget goes towards rental assistance of some type.
When I calculate that out, it’s an average of $7246 of help, per household, per year. So, that equals about $603/month in rental help, for all their rental programs combined. I am definitely not a statistician, though, and I know it’s no where near as simple as that.
It’s here: https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD Then click on FY 2015 ANNUAL PERFORMANCE REPORT &
FY 2017 ANNUAL PERFORMANCE PLAN. It’s a PDF file.”
The taxpayers are struggling so hard to make it, or get ahead, that watching people around them live off the fruits of their labor in public housing burns their minds. When a private landlord is profiting from the poor the cost to the taxpayer goes up. In the Housing Choice Voucher program, the recipient is required to find housing with a private landlord. There are 2,015,000 units owned by private landlords and 30% of their rental income comes from the federal government and our taxes. This means that so long as poor occupy their properties the government will go on spending our tax dollars to benefit private profit makers. The Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) programs enable more than 2 million people in 1.2 million low-income households to afford modest apartments by contracting with private owners to rent some or all of the units in their housing developments to low-income families. That brings privately owned units up to 3,215,000 units receiving continuous government funding. There are also HUD paid “Other Programs” that help prevent evictions and pay private landlords to keep tenants so that increases the private landlords by some unstated number, but may be half a million more units.
Now here is a solution that I have discovered that could lift the burden off of taxpayers, while creating high-quality, whole-life-time housing for folks who need or want it. A company based right here in the United States, called Apis Cor invented a 3D printer that can create a home in less than 24 hours. The cost to do so is around $10,000. That is roughly what is spent on the average assisted family in federal funding in a year and a quarter. But, with 3D houses the cost essentially stops there. For a one-time fee of roughly $10,000 a poor family can be housed for a lifetime instead of that fee continuing for decade upon decade in many instances. It is likely that a type of pay-it-off and own it situation would apply to many who now get reduced rent in the form of government-funded vouchers. Instead of spending their whole lives under the scrutiny of federal employees folks could pay an affordable “mortgage” till the homes are paid for and live there autonomously, and as free people, aka Homeowners.
The land is another issue, and with nearly 50% of America’s land having been captured by the federal government there is an opportunity here to return it to we-the-people who are the true owners of it and use it to benefit those of us who need it most. There truly is no shortage of land in America and the whole population would benefit if the folks now absorbing tax dollars to the tune of $32.6 billion a year could be permanently housed for that amount in roughly one year and in the ensuing years those funds used to provide health care or other vital social services. You can see in the image below that with half the population living in the counties marked in blue that we really can find land on which to put families in houses.