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    On Feb 5, the management of the NYC's famed Chelsea Hotel evicted a 75-year old man from his apartment. The police were called and he was told to have his belongings out by four that afternoon. This was not a case of non-payment, as the tenant was paid up through the next week. The elderly gentleman's crime? Being in the way of the minority owners desire to turn the Chelsea, for over 100 years a permanent residency hotel offering affordable housing to people in the arts, into a boutique tourist hotel charging $500 per night.

    As concerned neighbors scrambled to pack the man's things -- including hundreds of books -- police reacted with obvious disgust, asking incredulously, "You're evicting a 75-year-old man?!" In response, de-facto manager Arnold Tamasar cited, "Innkeepers prerogative!"

huffington post

    The crisis you are not hearing about is coming from those of us who can not afford our own home. We rent. Many of us struggle to pay rent on a monthly basis because of rising medical costs, low wages, high tuition rates and the ever growing cost of raising a family. These people have no money, and therefore no voice. Their crisis is our crisis.

   

     It's generally accepted that 30 to 35% is about right for housing expenses. That would include rent, plus utilities, any maintenance and decorating.

betterbudgeting.com

Median Income For Four-Person Families
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
Fiscal Year 2/   2008 3/   2007 3/   2006 3/  

United States   $67,019   $66,111   $65,093  

census.gov

    30-35% of $67,019 before tax for a family of four is not much at all, especially if you have debt, medical expenses or student loans to pay.

   

    Rental units are in high demand at this point," said Michael Rodriguez, broker/owner of Platinum Capital Mortgage & Estate. "The folks who were displaced outnumber the number of rental units available."

    In 2007, roughly 24 percent of Salinas residents were renters, but the number skyrocketed to 46 percent in 2008, Rodriguez said.

    While the market may be tough for those looking for housing, it's great for landlords.

povertynewsblog.blogspot.com

   

  1. Higher demand for rental units

From the study:

   After averaging just 0.7 percent annual growth from 2003 to 2006, the number of renter households jumped by 2.8 percent or nearly one million in 2007.

  1. Pressure builds on the supply side

From the study:

   Last year, completions of multifamily units for rent fell to 169,000 units—just two-thirds of the 2002 figure and only one-third of the 1986 record high.

  1. Rent is getting higher, but renters are getting poorer

From the study:

   The national median gross rent rose 2.7 percent in real terms from 2001 to 2006 while the median renter income fell by 8.4 percent.

usnews.com

   

    Tent cities are cropping up at an alarming rate. Many shelters have run out of beds to accommodate the growing number of homeless.

    Garren Bratchin from the Loaves and Fishes charity says the organisation has seen a 20 per cent jump in the number of homeless people using its services.

    "It's been entire families, not just the guy that decides to leave his wife and get drunk - whole families; three or four, five people at a time," he said.

abc.net.au

    Why this is being reported by ABC.net in Australia and not the USA speaks volumes.

    The fact of the matter is that this crisis is worse than many of us know, and we are being told less in order to keep the outrage down. How many homeowners just got called "losers"? How many renters are worse off than the homeowners?

   

    By selling vacant homes for $1 after six months on the market, HUD makes it possible for communities to fix up the homes and put them to good use at a considerable savings. The newly occupied homes can then act as catalysts for neighborhood revitalization, attracting new residents and businesses to an area.

    Local governments can partner with local nonprofit homeownership organizations or tap into existing local programs to resell the homes to low- and moderate-income residents of the community.

hud.gov

    Why aren't more programs like this available to the public? Why aren't the people at HUD screaming for more funding from the rooftops? When people are drowning it is not socialism to throw them a life raft.

    Not unless you are speculating in life raft futures.

Please visit diaries by tomkertes such as his diary today titled
Poverty Wages Are a Cause of the Economic Crisis

and by user NY brit expat's series of diaries on Adam Smith, or the diary posted today titled
Time to pay the piper: Penalizing Tax Havens at the G20

Thank you, and good luck to you and yours,
MoT

Bail Out The People! a grassroots movement

Originally posted to MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 01:37 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  One of the things (13+ / 0-)

    that totally infuriates me about the tent cities is that, just a few miles from said tent city, are perfectly good houses sitting empty (and deteriorating) because of foreclosure.  There has to be a way to put the people without homes into the houses without people. I don't know how, but there must be some way to do this. Maybe the HUD program you linked will help.

    The best is the enemy of the good. --Voltaire

    by pateTX on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 01:44:59 PM PDT

    •  If you loan people free houses (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, CParis

      they will treat them like people treat most free things they have no equity in, i.e., they will trash them.

      I suspect the owners of said houses, even if they're banks, would frown on that.

      Unless you're suggesting actually giving people these houses free and clear, which is pretty much Russia post-revolution, pre-Soviet Union, i.e., clearly untenable in so many ways.

      •  How about renting them out (8+ / 0-)

        at rates that are reasonable?  I'm not suggesting turning them into flophouses, but it just seems outrageous that there are empty houses in places where there are also people living in refugee-camp conditions.

        The best is the enemy of the good. --Voltaire

        by pateTX on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 01:52:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Banks don't want to be landlords n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim J

          "People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they really don't want it." Ogden Nash (on universal health care?)

          by Catte Nappe on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 01:58:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Over-supply is a BIG flaw in our system (5+ / 0-)

          go to a local retailer, and look at the shelves full of products, then look at the lack of customers and the one register that is open.

          We have an oversupply of real estate that is all over-valued, and the people who have the greatest need conveniently have the least money and connections.

          I don't see any progress made in the real-estate markets (by working class family standards) until prices go down, and that will only exacerbate the other problems in the financial sector.

          Easy solution - repeat FDR in 1932. Four day banking holiday, bring on the audits.

          Too bad our accounting industry is full of Arthur Anderson's.

          What a fucking fraud.

          "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

          by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:12:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  there is already a glut of rental vacancies (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nathguy, MinistryOfTruth

          in most markets. You are suggesting pulling the rug out from under the current rental market to force some property owners into the landlord business, which believe me is tough enough even if you really want to do it.

          Landlording is a totally separate profession from property ownership and development, they are not all interchangeable.

          •  agreed, (0+ / 0-)

            that is what this crisis is getting down to, into turning homeowners into renters and landlords.

            Renters lose their rights and become subject to the will of the fuedal lords. Modern day share-croppers, only working for a Corporation instead of on the farm.

            Landlords turn into fuedal lords, renting for the soverign lord, owning their status at the lords whim, and always subject to facing the lords rather.

            All hail the almighty dollar, and his royal family, Citibank, BoA, Wells Fargo, and WaMu

            "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

            by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:45:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  a habitat for humanity model (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        debedb, dewley notid

        would work just fine. Just needs the legal ability to posess the houses and funding to run the program.

        I live in a townhouse, and in our row of 9 homes there is a foreclosure that has been empty for over a year and a half. It's bank owned, and they don't even bother to put out a real estate sign.  It's a nice unit that at the right price would sell even in this market - several others have in the last few months. But the bank seems content to just let it rot. It's probably more bother for them to deal with it than to just let it sit there.  As an owner of a townhome, this is an especially frustrating problem, as this neglected unit is part of my building. But the homeowner's association apparently has little ability to do anything about it.

    •  exactly, why not sell the homes back to original (5+ / 0-)

      owners at a decreased cost.

      This Sunday in NYC REDC auctioned off homes in the Tri-State area, average homes priced at $500k were starting at bids of $67k.

      Why not sell these back to the original owners?

      This is class warfare, and the striking resemblance of the sell off of property reminds me of Russia in the 90's and Iraq in 2002

      We are being evicted from our country and told that renting is better than owning

      Why Rent? To Get Richer - at articles.moneycentral.msn.com

      class warfare. I say we Fight Back!

      in honor of MLK

      Bail Out The People! a grassroots movement

      "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

      by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 01:57:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  YES! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe, MinistryOfTruth

        exactly, why not sell the homes back to original owners at a decreased cost.

        I have been saying this for two months.  The Feds should be buying at-risk mortgages and then selling them back to homeowners at a reduced price reflecting the current housing market.  They could recoup the differential down the line, if they want to, by assessing a capital gains tax on the property upon future sale or transfer by inheritance.

        •  The Fed is a big part of the problem (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          debedb

          don't they control monetary policy in this country?

          Morning Joe and Glen Beck should surround them, not the imaginary straw-man they have spotted behind the comet.

          "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

          by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:08:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Feds control the TARP bailout funds (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MinistryOfTruth

            I really never understood the logic of defending financial instruments built on hard assets (mortgages) rather than defending the assets themselves.  No matter how exotic the derivative, if the government pays off the current sub-prime inventory at full value, it seems to me they'd be closing out the derivatives, incurring modest losses at worst, and making the question of their current illiquidity moot.  

            Think of the plan I described as analagous to a bond issuer exercising a right to call the bond early.  The bond holder loses future interest payments, but they do receive the full principal investment back and can reinvest it elsewhere as they see fit.

  •  I wish I had known about this sooner (5+ / 0-)

    I know quite a few people in the neighborhood who would camp outside the place and ruin it from a PR perspective.

    The Penn South Co-op is in that neighborhood and full of retired activists and union members who would flock to this like white on rice.

    That is heinous.

    •  I just read the article from HuffPo today (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      debedb

      we are not being told by the MSM, but you can see the tent cities growing all over the country.

      During the revolutionary war citizens would go to the homes of the British Tax collectors and tear them down brick by brick

      maybe it is time for another tea party, one that Morning Joe would be scared shitless of.

      "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

      by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:02:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, I had long been worried about (5+ / 0-)

    being evicted because a) I'm in a rent-controlled apartment b) my landlord is a mamzer c) the ex-building manager hated my mother d)other reasons I don't want to give in public. However, I am not worried anymore because my landlord is now desperate for tenants - I got a notice under my door begging for referals to move in and if my referral moved in I would get a $500 American Express Gift Card. I've lived in the apartment for 40 years and I don't think they could throw me out if they wanted to. And the new management look like somewhat nicer people.

    I think renters might have it a little easier now - raises look less likely and many "for sale" co-ops are converting to rentals. Not to mention the win against Tishman Speyer by Stuyvesant Town.

    Still, what happened at the Chelsea Hotel is scandalous, but the management there are really not nice people. I didn't know they were trying to turn it into an expensive boutique hotel.

    •  You see this happening in my area (4+ / 0-)

      Apartment owners thinking they would get in on the Condo gold rush, going back to apartment rentals, because things are turning south. But I do see a time when squatting will be the thing for poor and desperate people, I don't see a happy ending in this crisis for awhile.

      America, They were yours, Honor Them, Do Not forget them-IGTNT.

      by Mr Stagger Lee on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:14:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  sadly, squatters have no rights (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        debedb, evora, KimD, Carol in San Antonio

        in NYC there is more protection than anywhere else, but, for many, the risk of losing what little you have left is not worth what gain there is, that is why the tent cities are mushrooming everywhere.

        One person I met the other day in NYC ( a homeless Iraq vet from 2004 ) told me he was better off on the street with a shopping cart than squatting.
        "It would be like losing everything all over again if they took what I have left"
        All he had in his cart were heirlooms and family photos.

        It makes me want to cry, it makes me want to scream.

        Fight Back!

        Bail Out The People! a grassroots movement

        "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

        by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:20:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, I'd be happy to join such a protest. EOM. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    debedb, MinistryOfTruth
  •  Another sad story. Thanks for keeping us (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    debedb, MinistryOfTruth

    informed Ministry of Truth.

    I wish we heard more stories of governemnt intervention to help the poor, now that it's become so popular to help the rich.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 01:49:17 PM PDT

  •  Thanks, MOT for raising a voice for those (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MinistryOfTruth

    suffering in silence. There have been proposals for local administrations to take over vacant housing and rent at reasonable rates to people. But somehow these get lost in the shuffle. I would propose that a Federal agency like HUD take this kind of an approach.

    Well? Shall we go? At least that man is gone.

    by whenwego on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 01:57:01 PM PDT

    •  we need a nationwide moratorium on foreclosures (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whenwego, Brooke In Seattle, jayden

      keep people in their homes until this mess is sorted out.

      Throwing working families and families who have temporarily lost their jobs out into the street is a crime, but is not against the law.

      Can't something be done about that?

      "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

      by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 01:59:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A foreclosure moratorium sounds good at first... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        debedb, Carol in San Antonio

        ...but when you think about it a little more, isn't it just legalized squatting?  

        How do you separate people who are honestly experiencing hard times through no fault of their own from people who really did make bad financial decisions?  How do you separate someone who's going through a bad stretch from someone who just decided (hearing about the moratorium) that they just would stop paying their mortgage and there was nothing the bank could do about it?

        In other words - if a moratorium is declared, what's to prevent me from going out tomorrow, getting a mortgage on a new house, and not paying it?  And when the moratorium ends, don't you just have a glut of saved-up foreclosures that plunge us into even worse trouble?  It seems to me that a moratorium doesn't do anything to solve the problem, it just kicks it down the road a little bit.

        I think everyone in this situation - banks who issued bad loans, banks who took out loans on bad loans, and home"owners" who signed a sheet of paper that laid out the exact terms of these bad loans - should have to take some kind of hit.  I've chosen not to buy a house thus far because I have the good sense to know I can't afford one; it would be profoundly unfair for those who were less wise than me to be rewarded for their foolishness.

        Join the Matthew 25 Network and help Democrats win the next generation of evangelicals.

        by mistersite on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:16:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  everyone will take some kind of hit (0+ / 0-)

          the question is who should carry more of the load, those who were merely involved (homeowners,renters,losers) and those who invented the scam
          (bankers,insurer's,douchebags)

          "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

          by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:28:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Homeowners were more than "involved." (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            debedb

            They signed a piece of paper, on which the exact terms of a loan were indicated, saying that they would pay off that loan.  They aren't innocent victims here; they had the choice to take out a big loan or do something else (either buy a more affordable house or rent, which places no long-term obligation on the family), and they chose to take out the big loan.

            Did banks act irresponsibly? Absolutely, and they should bear responsibility and cost for their mistakes.  But they're far from the only culprits; it takes two to tango, and people who signed a mortgage for a house they couldn't afford are partially to blame.

            Renters, I think, should get a larger piece of the pie, and I don't just say that because I continue to rent; renters are not only the least protected (as you indicate) and also have little if any fault in this situation. Moreover, it's often more responsible to rent; unlike a mortgage, a rental lease doesn't obligate the renter to any long-term payments (most leases don't run any more than a year, in my experience).

            Join the Matthew 25 Network and help Democrats win the next generation of evangelicals.

            by mistersite on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:40:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MinistryOfTruth

        When I read of entire neighborhoods being vacant and blazes in the night and people stealing copper, I wonder why we as a nation are wasting all that material and labor that went into building those homes. It's not like buyers are swooping in.

        Well? Shall we go? At least that man is gone.

        by whenwego on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:18:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A new wave of troubles (4+ / 0-)

    Renters being evicted because the property owner has been foreclosed on.

    The number of small, multi-unit buildings repossessed by banks has increased fivefold in recent years, according to Smith's research. In 2005 banks took back less than 500 such properties in Cook County; last year they took more than 2,400.

    Two- to six-unit buildings account for more than one-third of bank-foreclosed properties.

    Often banks that foreclose buildings don’t even know if the properties are occupied by renters.

    http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/...

    Without Just Cause, a 110-page report prepared by NLCHP in collaboration with the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and with the pro bono assistance of WilmerHale, outlines the rights, and lack thereof, for renters in foreclosure in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Without Just Cause is available at (pdf)  
    http://www.nlchp.org/...

    According to NLIHC, about 40% of families facing eviction due to foreclosure are renters. But renters have little protection. If a landlord is foreclosed, tenants who have diligently paid their rent on time may face eviction without notice, coming home to find locks changed and their belongings on the street. Some local sheriffs, such as Sheriff Dart of Cook County, IL, made headlines for refusing to evict renters in these cases.

    http://www.nlchp.org/...

    "People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they really don't want it." Ogden Nash (on universal health care?)

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 01:57:29 PM PDT

  •  Actually, in many areas rents are falling since (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, debedb, CParis, nathguy, jayden

    condos and houses are being rented out instead of sold. Salinas probably has relatively few condos for rent and houses are too expensive for most people. Your link is a year old, things have changed a lot since then.

    •  rents are falling because the market is flooded (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      debedb

      with cheap homes that have been foreclosed.

      That is just my opinion, but supply and demand seem to favor the landlords and banks, because the supply is high, they can wait things out until they get the price they want.

      this adds up to a big FU to working class families who cannot even get a NINJA loan, or pay rent to live in good neighborhoods. Often those families are minority, low income, elderly or single parent.

      WTF?

      "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

      by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:06:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Huh? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CParis, FG, skohayes

        That is just my opinion, but supply and demand seem to favor the landlords and banks, because the supply is high, they can wait things out until they get the price they want.

        That makes absolutely no sense from an economic standpoint.  High supply/low demand never favors sellers.  I know of several rooms and apartments available right now that have gone vacant for months - not because the landlord is "waiting things out until they get the price they want," but because the market is flooded with rentals right now.  From what I've seen as a recent potential lessee, rents are being lowered and deals are being offered... only in the premier neighborhoods, where rentals are always at a premium, are landlords able to consistently rent out.

        Join the Matthew 25 Network and help Democrats win the next generation of evangelicals.

        by mistersite on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:19:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  sorry, I made it confusing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          debedb

          in this instance there is high supply and high demand, because, lets face it, the speculators have yet to leave the building.

          For renters, prices are still beyond what many can afford.

          And when a family moves out of a home they were foreclosed on and moves into a rental they are not only edging out families that only rented before, they are going down the ladder a rung or two (or more)

          The demand for housing is always high, and will always be high. Now that supply is high to, it doesn't bode well for many low-middle income families or individuals

          sorry about the confusion on my part. wish you could edit these comments.

          cheers

          "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

          by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:24:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not to sound callous, but that's how it works. (5+ / 0-)

            And when a family moves out of a home they were foreclosed on and moves into a rental they are not only edging out families that only rented before, they are going down the ladder a rung or two (or more)

            To be honest, a lot of families took out loans on properties they couldn't afford.  While it's nice and comfortable to just say "eat the rich" and blame the banks for everything, it does take two to tango; these families signed the sheet of paper laying out exactly the terms of the loan.  Yes, the banks are at fault for issuing loans to people they knew couldn't afford them, and they bear some of the responsibility, and some of the cost, of righting the ship.  But the bank's job is to look out for their own bottom line, not to be the financial babysitter for people who make unwise choices.

            In other words - what you call "going down the ladder," a more objective observer might call a "correction."  A family moving from a home they couldn't afford to a home they can afford is the right thing to do.

            The demand for housing is always high, and will always be high. Now that supply is high to, it doesn't bode well for many low-middle income families or individuals

            Again, that doesn't really make sense.  With the exception of the places where everyone wants to live (hip neighborhoods, etc.), the rental market has never been better in my lifetime.  Low- and middle-income families can afford to rent.  Maybe it's not in the neighborhood they wanted, and maybe the kids are going to have to share a bedroom, but it's much more affordable and easy to find now than it was back when the bubble was happening.

            Join the Matthew 25 Network and help Democrats win the next generation of evangelicals.

            by mistersite on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:33:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  rec'd, but disagreed (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jayden, Carol in San Antonio

              a lot of families took out loans on properties they couldn't afford.  While it's nice and comfortable to just say "eat the rich" and blame the banks for everything, it does take two to tango; these families signed the sheet of paper laying out exactly the terms of the loan

              It is as if the banks were running a 1910 magic elixir stand, and american home buyers were the marks.

              American in 1910 - "Gosh, I am sick, and I can't get to a doctor, I can afford this elixir. I will take one."

              Snake oil salesman - "Yes sir, it is good for what ailes you. "

              If I sell you a used car that is a lemon, are you just as much to blame as I am?

                  a more objective observer might call a "correction."  A family moving from a home they couldn't afford to a home they can afford is the right thing to do.

              That correction just threw a million hardworking Americans out of their homes. Those American families who just went down a ladder might have lost a decades worth of work that got them there, and they will have to work another decade to get back to where they started from

              I fear you may have swallowed the con hook line and sinker. If the American home-buyer is at fault in anyway for wishing to believe the AMerican dream can apply to them when some snake-oil salesman tells them they can, is that not proof that the American dream does not exist for many of us?

              The American dreamer just woke up in a tent city to the American nightmare, I weep for them, and they deserve justice.

              "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

              by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:42:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your metaphor doesn't work. (3+ / 0-)

                It is as if the banks were running a 1910 magic elixir stand, and american home buyers were the marks.

                American in 1910 - "Gosh, I am sick, and I can't get to a doctor, I can afford this elixir. I will take one."

                Snake oil salesman - "Yes sir, it is good for what ailes you. "

                This only works if the snake oil salesman were required to give a detailed and absolutely accurate description of exactly what the snake oil would do to the buyer, which would have to be signed by the buyer as a condition of the sale.  No matter what the snake oil salesman says, the buyer has a sheet of paper that says exactly what the snake oil is going to do.

                The terms of these mortgages were neither esoteric nor hidden.  They were plainly listed on the sheet of paper, and the buyers still signed their names.  That has to be taken into consideration.

                That correction just threw a million hardworking Americans out of their homes. Those American families who just went down a ladder might have lost a decades worth of work that got them there, and they will have to work another decade to get back to where they started from

                I'm a hardworking American who isn't getting thrown out of his home, because I didn't buy a house I couldn't afford.  I know how much I make and I've always tried to live within my means.  

                I have a great deal of sympathy for those who bought houses they could afford only to have the economic rug grabbed from under their feet; they should be afforded every legal protection against foreclosure, and as many helping hands as the government can possibly provide, to get them back up and running (not to mention getting the economy back on track in general so that they'll have jobs and be able to start paying their mortgage again).

                I have considerably less sympathy for people who bought something they couldn't afford... while I'm all for helping them out, I think they do bear some of the blame for the mess we're in, and should shoulder some of the cost for that blame, probably including that black mark on their credit report that means they'll be renting for a while.  Most of us don't get bailed out when we make unwise decisions that set us back a decade or more financially.

                I fear you may have swallowed the con hook line and sinker. If the American home-buyer is at fault in anyway for wishing to believe the AMerican dream can apply to them when some snake-oil salesman tells them they can, is that not proof that the American dream does not exist for many of us?

                Or it's proof that the "American dream" is in itself flawed, wasteful, and unsustainable, a false edifice built on a foundation of glass.  Having a roof over one's head, a warm hearth, and some space for living is a perfectly valid goal; having a McMansion with a two-car garage and half an acre of lawn, where every kid has his or her own bedroom and his or her own flat screen TV, probably isn't a valid goal.  If that's the "American dream," perhaps it's time we adjusted our expectations.  Homeownership isn't for everyone, and it's time that we stop pretending that it is.

                The American dreamer just woke up in a tent city to the American nightmare, I weep for them, and they deserve justice.

                The average American dreamer borrowed a whole lot of money and could be reasonably expected to know full well what he or she was getting into at the time.  They have my sympathies, but justice demands that they bear at least some of the cost for their own unwise decisions.

                Join the Matthew 25 Network and help Democrats win the next generation of evangelicals.

                by mistersite on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 03:35:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  rec'd, still disagreed (0+ / 0-)

                  I think we can agree to disagree, yes.

                  They have my sympathies, but justice demands that they bear at least some of the cost for their own unwise decisions.

                  As long as it is proportionate to both parties involved, one clearly more guilty than the other, I agree for the most part.

                  "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

                  by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 04:01:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  It's impossible to have high supply and high (0+ / 0-)

            demand at the same time. One has to be higher than the other. Prices depend on the neighborhood and the size of the apartment. If you want the place you can't afford, you need to decrease your appetite. For example, in 2002 I moved to Bay Area. I was making 30k/year but wanted to have my own apartment. So I rented a 1bdrm for $1300/mo. It was very nice but I couldn't afford it, I was spending more than my salary. So in a few months I moved to another place with a roommate. Btw, I completely agree that NINJA loans are bad.

            •  here's the deal (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              debedb, MinistryOfTruth

              one foreclosure creates a demand for one rental apartment,
              so while the unit sits in the for sale queue, there is a demand
              for a down scale housing unit.

              ultimately these upscale units re-enter the market but there
              can be disruptions as banks seek to sell them.

              Now in California there was so much overbuilding rentals
              have collapsed, as people fought for the bottom,
              but in NYC, it's probably a bit tougher, as there was little
              new production, the bubble was just a bubble.

              George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

              by nathguy on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:52:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  only when you look at it from the supply side (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FG

              if you look at things from the Demand side - you can have high supply and high demand.

              You have high supply and high demand in gas, for instance. Demand is always huge, and the suppliers control the supply available to the market. Since they dictate the supply available, they can dictate prices and demand will take what it can afford.

              try looking at things from the demand side, which some may say doesn't exist, but, two great scientific rules back it up

              Everything is relative. - Einstein

              Every action had an equal and opposite reaction. - Isaac Newton

              Unfortunately, the supply side is the world standard and the whole thing that got us into this mess.

              Supply side economics only pays the supplier, the supplier of jobs, homes, income

              Demand side economics is more suitable for a democracy of free people.

              "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

              by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:55:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ok, let's look at it like this: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MinistryOfTruth

                is supply or demand a limiting factor at this point? With gas it's simpler: there is limited maximum supply and sort of limited minimal demand. Actual demand fluctuates depending on a variety of factors (economy, weather etc.) and if it's close to maximum supply, then supply is the limiting factor and prices go up. If it's much lower, then demand is limiting (gas can't really be stored in huge quantities). With real estate it is similar but here dropping demand would mean people starting to share houses and apartments. So current crisis should lower the rents mostly on higher end units although lower end units may also be affected if people start sharing houses more. It could lead to smaller price differences between neighborhoods. Btw, I saw that in Bay Area in 2002 after dot com crash, a lot of 1bdrms and studios were priced about the same. So I guess if you assume that increased house sharing is not significant, we can say that both supply and demand are high. This of course doesn't apply to the areas that overbuilt housing (a lot of California, Arizona, Nevada etc.).

                •  agreed (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  debedb, FG

                  So I guess if you assume that increased house sharing is not significant, we can say that both supply and demand are high. This of course doesn't apply to the areas that overbuilt housing (a lot of California, Arizona, Nevada etc.).

                  Pretty much on target.

                  In NYC I could never afford my own place without a room-mate. Before I lost my job I was making $40k, and renting my own place was NOT an option, unless I gave up that nasty 3 meals a day habit.

                  Somethings are just too hard to quit.

                  "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

                  by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 03:19:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So you got a roommate. That was wise. (3+ / 0-)

                    Maybe if these families living alone in houses rented out half the bedrooms to another family, and shared spaces like the kitchen and living room, then they'd be able to keep up with the mortgage - and another family wouldn't be living in a tent.

                    Maybe this idea of one kid per bedroom, one family per house, one house per lot, with the two-car garage and the nice big lawn isn't really sustainable in the long run.  I'd suggest that we need a cultural paradigm shift away from notions of the nuclear family and single-family dwellings, and toward more communal and more traditional ways of living like group houses, multi-family homes, and multigenerational and extended family living.

                    Join the Matthew 25 Network and help Democrats win the next generation of evangelicals.

                    by mistersite on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 03:41:45 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  disagreed, extended families yes, not community (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Carol in San Antonio

                      living unless people choose to.

                      the alternative is what they have in china, overpopulation + low wage slave incomes = 10 families jammed in one place.

                      Destroying the nuclear family through decades of war, low wages that require women to work as well and a draconian legal system is what got us to this point.

                      If I make $40k in NYC and can not possibly afford my own small one bedroom it is proof to me that this system is broken.

                      Pushing families into community life just puts a bandaid on the problem, not a long term solution.

                      "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

                      by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 03:56:02 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You're clinging to a past... (0+ / 0-)

                        ...that never existed.  The nuclear family was a figment of the imagination of the 1950s, which saw nuclear families as an easy way to sell suburban houses.  Before then, multigenerational and extended families were the norm, not the exception.

                        If it's a choice between community living and homelessness, a choice between having a little less space for oneself or living in a tent, which do you think people should choose?  The ideal of the single-family unit on a single lot is completely irresponsible and unsustainable from an environmental and economic standpoint.  We need to revise our expectations, not demand that the system change to deal with extravagant demands like the idea that every nuclear family should have a single-family house to themselves.

                        If I make $40k in NYC and can not possibly afford my own small one bedroom it is proof to me that this system is broken.

                        Why?  There is a limited amount of space in New York City, and a great many people who still want to live there.  Undoubtedly there are places in the NYC area where people who make $40k can find a one-bedroom; they might not be in Manhattan or in the nicest neighborhoods, they might not be very big, but I'm sure they exist somewhere, maybe out in the outlying areas or in Jersey.

                        Pushing families into community life just puts a bandaid on the problem, not a long term solution.

                        I disagree.  The sooner the suburban paradigm dies and the sooner we become more communitarian in our outlook, the better off we'll be in the long run.  Our society's survival rests in a move toward less individualism and more communalism.

                        Join the Matthew 25 Network and help Democrats win the next generation of evangelicals.

                        by mistersite on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 04:05:25 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You can get a studio for $1000 in Queens. Not (0+ / 0-)

                          even in the worst part of it although pretty far from Manhattan. I think Brooklyn is somewhat cheaper (again, parts of it that are far from Manhattan, not Park Slope). I think the problem in this country not so much lack of communal living but preference for big houses. The idea that you need to have a 3 bedroom house as soon as you have a kid is not sustainable. Even in relatively rich Europe people usually live in smaller apartments compared to what is the norm here (outside of NYC of course). I would not be able to live with extended family, too much trouble. It works in a very different society.

      •  Often sellers can't wait forever, they need money (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MinistryOfTruth

        too. I think lack of NINJA loans is actually a good thing. What's the point in buying a house you can't afford and you'll be evicted from a few years later? Dropping house prices and rents may actually help lower income people to afford housing. But let's be frank here: if someone doesn't have money to buy a good house in the nice neighborhood, there is no way for this person to buy it short of fraud of some kind (e.g. NINJA loans).

        •  NINJA loans are bad. period. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FG

          But let's be frank here: if someone doesn't have money to buy a good house in the nice neighborhood, there is no way for this person to buy it short of fraud of some kind (e.g. NINJA loans).

          exactly. fraud.

          It is like taking you to Vegas and telling you there is no risk. NINJA loans and the sort of shenanigans these businesses ran should be against the law, so that this sort of crisis can not happen again.

          "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

          by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:26:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I used to rent. (5+ / 0-)

    Then I lost my job.

    Then I lost my apartment.

    Then I moved in with my daughter. Or I would be living on the street or dead.

    We. Need. Jobs.

    And decent wages that one can live on.

    The rest will come if we have jobs again.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:22:36 PM PDT

    •  I used to rent (5+ / 0-)

      Then I lost my job

      Then I lost my apartment

      Then I moved in with my brother. Or I would be living on the street or dead.

      We. Need. GOOD Jobs.

      With benefits and health care and union representation, and decent wages we can live on and save, instead of living on credit as a supplement to substandard wages.

      The rest will not come if we just get jobs again. The share-cropper in the south a century ago had more freedom than we do now. We live under the iron heel. A century ago the share-cropper knew who his enemy was and where he lived. WE know who the enemy is, though we don't know where he lives, his offices are on Wall St and in D.C.

      love and good luck B.I.S.

      "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

      by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:48:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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