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Why do people feel compelled to support "affordable housing?"
The problem arises from government policies that discourage the construction of new housing? No, the problem arises from overpopulation. There is no developable land left in Oakland.
Things weren't this bad in Oakland, even during the so-called Great Depression and the days of Pipe City. Up until the 1960s, we were one nation. People helped each other.
Young people today complain about lack of jobs, unaffordable homes, high priced colleges - but make little effort to understand how and why things changed, starting in the 1960s. The elite won't help - the last thing they want is an understanding that would undermine their efforts to "transform" the nation.
"Pipe City dwellers didn’t beg and accepted no government assistance. As news of Pipe City spread, however, more fortunate Oaklanders pitched in to help, bringing food, blankets, mattresses, clothing and shoes. On Christmas Day, every man ate a turkey dinner with cranberry sauce."
"Oakland banded together and found aid within itself."
Nothing has done more to diminish the quality of life for the middle class through higher housing (land) costs, competition for jobs, low wages, greater poverty, mortgage fraud, medicare fraud, crime, disease, cost of public schools, cost of college, depletion of resources, burden on the taxpayer and overall congestion than the increase of and change in the nature of the population (more poor) since 1965, driven almost entirely by immigration.
Because we are overpopulated, millions of young people graduating this year will never be able to buy a home in the town where they were born. What sort of person wishes for that?
The high price of housing is a major factor in poorer quality of life for the middle class and the poor. Population density is the main driver of the price of land, and thus the price of housing. High immigration is the main driver of population density.
See, for example, Immigration and the revival of American Cities by Jacob L. Vigdor for the Americas Society/Council of the Americas and the Partnership for a New American Economy, in which he claims that more than 40 million immigrants currently in the united states have increased housing prices nationwide by $3.7 trillion. Or, get the population and housing price data for 1900 to 2010 from the Bureau of the Census and do your own analysis. Don't forget that change in population leads change in price by ten or twenty years. (You won't find many op-eds or studies on this politically incorrect subject).
During the 1930s middle income people could afford a ten room [large rooms] house on 1/3 of an acre in Cleveland Heights. Because California was not then over populated. Homes were still affordable 30 years later. But, in the 70s they started to become less affordable.
I watched as the inner bay area filled up, and people started moving easst into Contra Costa. Now that is filled up.
In Oakland, California, in 1915 a bricklayer's wages were $1,820 a year and a 4 to 5 room bungalow cost between $1,500 (82% of annual wage) and $5,000 (275% of annual wage), depending on location. In 2013, a bricklayer's wages were $52,000 a year (if she could find work). A house price based on the same percentage of wage would be $42,000 to $142,500.
1915 wage Alameda County Ideal Place for Home, 1915
2013 wage http://www1.salary.com/CA/Oakland/Bricklay…
wage calc http://www.mtscastlerock.com/calc/index.ph…
1915 house Alameda County Ideal Place for Home, 1915
Annual Wage House ratio
1915 $1,820 $1,500 82.42%
1915 $1,820 $5,000 274.73%
2013 $51,868 0.82417 $42,748
2013 $51,868 2.74725 $142,495
Crisis? Perhaps not, but Oakland housing has not been afforable for decades. Affordable is when a middle class family can afford a 9 room house on 1/3 acre in Cleveland heights. That was possible from 1910 to 1950.
It's not possible today, because of population density.
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