Affordable Housing and the Homeless Crisis: Solutions from the Bottom
Creating a nonprofit or cooperative housing sector is vital since private developers will not build affordable housing. Long-term low interest loans is the second viable option that is usually repressed.
SRO (single residency occupancy) apartments and hotels are a viable decentralized solution that reintegrates people in society. Warehousing and prisons violate human rights. Throwing money after problems doesn’t work any more than bailing out Wall Street banks, pretending the market is self-healing or imagining community health is connected with soaring corporate profits. In the neoliberal model, profits explode while investments stagnate.
America is strong when it brings along the weak. The neoliberal rollback, the 36 years of lower taxes for corporations and the wealthy, should be followed by a new social contract. The financial sector should be shriveled and the public sector expanded. Community centers (like the 26 in Vancouver B.C.) allow working and nonworking to feel valued and respected in the modern project. When Washington is caught in polarization and paralysis, cities and states must see themselves as countervailing forces to exploding inequality and unchecked corporate power.
“When the state trusts citizens, citizens trust the state (Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister).” Public spirit and trust between the generations and between the working and nonworking depend on countermeasures and a caring state.