Social Housing: Are you pro or con?

SeniorBen

Member
Why We Need Social Housing
What Medicare for All is for health care, social housing is for shelter.

SOCIAL HOUSING ADDRESSES is simply public housing for all. For example, a municipality might have an apartment building in which a third of the units were deeply subsidized for low-income people, a third provided at cost for the middle class, and a third at the market rate open to anyone. Every segment of the housing market, from top to bottom, would get more supply simultaneously.

Such a building would not require a subsidy to operate, since maintenance could be funded by the second two classes of units (how much depends on the market). Rents could be kept as low as possible because the government doesn’t require a profit margin. Construction could also be financed by floating a bond against expected future revenues, so construction could be greatly scaled up without requiring any direct government financing.

Finally, a large social-housing sector would stabilize the construction industry. The best time to build would naturally be during an economic downturn, when labor, land, and materials are relatively cheap. So instead of homes being built in boom/bust cycles, causing labor shortages for construction companies followed by bankruptcies and mass layoffs, there would be a steady, constant rate of building and employment. This would also help stabilize the rest of the economy.
https://prospect.org/infrastructure/housing/why-we-need-social-housing/
 

Social Housing
An interesting idea. How could it apply to someone like me? I own a single family home, not a part of any subdivision or HOA?

I can also see a bureaucratic mess trying to administer.
Where will the money come from?
Ben's idea is that the richer 1/3 of folks would subsidize the poorer 1/3. Might work... but I am skeptical.
At what cost?
Good question, I fear the net cost of housing would go up.
 

Don M.

SF VIP
Location
central Missouri
Social Housing sounds good....on paper. However, in reality, such a concept would never happen in a Free society. Building apartments is a means for construction companies and landlords to Make Money. Then, trying to "mingle" financially insecure people in the same building with those who have adequate money would quickly cause some "conflicts", as those who have little would probably "target" the others. Such an apartment complex would probably need a substantial "security" force. If anyone decided to participate in such an experiment, the first major robbery would result in most moving out, and the entire building would quickly become a "ghetto".
 

SeniorBen

Member
An interesting idea. How could it apply to someone like me? I own a single family home, not a part of any subdivision or HOA?

I can also see a bureaucratic mess trying to administer.

Ben's idea is that the richer 1/3 of folks would subsidize the poorer 1/3. Might work... but I am skeptical.

Good question, I fear the net cost of housing would go up.
No, it's not my idea. I just saw the article. I haven't thought about the concept of social housing yet, but I thought I'd put it out there anyway. One thing we know is the current system is broken. Whether social housing is a solution is the topic for discussion.
 

SeniorBen

Member
Social Housing sounds good....on paper. However, in reality, such a concept would never happen in a Free society. Building apartments is a means for construction companies and landlords to Make Money. Then, trying to "mingle" financially insecure people in the same building with those who have adequate money would quickly cause some "conflicts", as those who have little would probably "target" the others. Such an apartment complex would probably need a substantial "security" force. If anyone decided to participate in such an experiment, the first major robbery would result in most moving out, and the entire building would quickly become a "ghetto".
Maybe those with low income get just basic housing, those with middle class income get more space and nicer architecture, and the wealthy get even more square footage and features. That way, there would still be incentives to improve your skills and education.
 
Social housing for all, is a nice concept, but middle class people try to move away from poorer people. And just for the record that would be white middle class moving away from poor white people. Including the racial aspect, reminds me of De-segregation, which led to white flight. It is something to dream about, but reality becomes near impossible, imo.
 

Nathan

Well-known Member
My son manages an apartment building in L.A. that houses low income recipients of Federal housing subsidies . Nice place, but full of 'problem' tenants, most(if not all) have drug use history, mental health issues. At one time I had thought that if my wife precedes me, that I'd liquidate all my real and personal property and live there to be near my son. Not so sure if I could transition from this rural environment to the heart of L.A., and all the craziness of big city living. I gotta say, L.A. is amazing on so many levels, all the diverse cultural influences, the entertainment industry and culinary eating opportunities would make for a stimulating late life experience. But, the realities of the transients, the homeless and never-ending criminal activity would be a big drawback.
 

Em in Ohio

Senior Member
Location
OH HI OH
Social housing for all, is a nice concept, but middle class people try to move away from poorer people. And just for the record that would be white middle class moving away from poor white people. Including the racial aspect, reminds me of De-segregation, which led to white flight. It is something to dream about, but reality becomes near impossible, imo.
Regretfully, I tend to agree with you. I'm old enough to remember "whites only" signs at drinking fountains, public restrooms, etc. I clearly remember "white flight," as our Hungarian neighborhood emptied out.

You seem to have summed up the reality that would defeat the concept of social housing, unfortunately. I think a more practical approach is the mini-home communities that are being developed - tiny, affordable houses that provide the chance of home ownership and, subsequently, the development of personal pride and responsibility.
 

Aunt Bea

SF VIP
Location
Near Mount Pilot
I like the theory of having apartment buildings that mirror the racial and socio economic makeup of the community

In this area we have had experiments that attempted to integrate the poorest members of the community into middle class buildings.

The problem has been that there is more to being poor than a lack of money. In many cases, people have brought the drama and chaos associated with being poor to their new homes and damaged the quality of life for all residents.

I’ll welcome anyone that respects my right to the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of my cozy little apartment.
 

Lavinia

Well-known Member
Here in Britain, there is major housing construction underway (which incidentally is destroying open country-side). Most new houses are intended for those who can afford to buy their homes. There is little interest in building for those who are forced to rent. However, so-called 'social housing' is needed, as there are so many people on low incomes. Part of the problem lies in the fact that poorer people tend to cause social problems. Criminals and drug addicts tend to come from the lower classes of society. There is no real reason why this should be the case, but it is a fact.
The different types of housing creates ghettos.....but it's natural for those on higher incomes who can afford a decent standard of living, not to live close to those who are uncivilised.
 

SeniorBen

Member
I like the theory of having apartment buildings that mirror the racial and socio economic makeup of the community

In this area we have had experiments that attempted to integrate the poorest members of the community into middle class buildings.

The problem has been that there is more to being poor than a lack of money. In many cases, people have brought the drama and chaos associated with being poor to their new homes and damaged the quality of life for all residents.

I’ll welcome anyone that respects my right to the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of my cozy little apartment.
For "social housing" to work, everyone would need to share the same values, such as a desire to be self-sufficient. If you're poor and you want to improve your life, you qualify. If you just want to sit around and do drugs or drink, you can live out on the street.

I'd be willing to bet that the majority of homeless people would be willing to do some kind of work if that would get them off the streets.
 

Warrigal

SF VIP
Here in Britain, there is major housing construction underway (which incidentally is destroying open country-side). Most new houses are intended for those who can afford to buy their homes. There is little interest in building for those who are forced to rent. However, so-called 'social housing' is needed, as there are so many people on low incomes. Part of the problem lies in the fact that poorer people tend to cause social problems. Criminals and drug addicts tend to come from the lower classes of society. There is no real reason why this should be the case, but it is a fact.
The different types of housing creates ghettos.....but it's natural for those on higher incomes who can afford a decent standard of living, not to live close to those who are uncivilised.
Our current PM grew up in social housing. His mother was a single parent with a serious health condition. He went to a public school and is now the Prime Minister of Australia. Not exactly uncivilised and knows which knife and fork to used at a formal dinner with other world leaders.

Social housing gives children a chance of a stable home life and an education that they would otherwise miss out on if they were homeless or repeatedly changing their address when the rent gets hiked at the end of every lease.
 

SeniorBen

Member
Social housing exists in a number of ways across the world, with varying successes and failures. Vienna has had particularly strong success, where 3 in 5 residents live in public housing.

As Peter Dreier, professor of public policy at Occidental College, wrote for the Prospect in 2018, since at least 1922, the Viennese government has deliberately grown its share of housing stock. In addition, the government provides communal spaces such as “kindergartens, nurseries, mothers’ advice centers, courtyards, health clinics …” while maintaining properties on its dime for a small fraction of a family’s income.

Vienna’s success can also be attributed to the government adopting a mixed-income model for social housing that eventually made social housing accessible to all. The legacy continues today, as Dreier continued: “Vienna today has about 800,000 housing units. The municipality is Vienna’s largest landlord.”
 

OneEyedDiva

Well-known Member
Location
New Jersey
One of the problems with that plan is that people in the mid and upper level income brackets don't want to live in buildings that house lower income tenants. I've read about that issue being a sticking point with proposed new apartment buildings that were to also include accommodations for low income tenants.
 

Aunt Bea

SF VIP
Location
Near Mount Pilot
Social housing exists in a number of ways across the world, with varying successes and failures. Vienna has had particularly strong success, where 3 in 5 residents live in public housing.

As Peter Dreier, professor of public policy at Occidental College, wrote for the Prospect in 2018, since at least 1922, the Viennese government has deliberately grown its share of housing stock. In addition, the government provides communal spaces such as “kindergartens, nurseries, mothers’ advice centers, courtyards, health clinics …” while maintaining properties on its dime for a small fraction of a family’s income.

Vienna’s success can also be attributed to the government adopting a mixed-income model for social housing that eventually made social housing accessible to all. The legacy continues today, as Dreier continued: “Vienna today has about 800,000 housing units. The municipality is Vienna’s largest landlord.”
IMO it’s sad that the Viennese government has chosen to become the landlord to 3 in 5 residents instead of addressing the root causes of poverty and working with people to become self sufficient.

I really don’t relish the notion of being taken care of by the government living in what is essentially a socialist or communist society.
 

Ruthanne

SF VIP
Location
Midwest
One of the problems with that plan is that people in the mid and upper level income brackets don't want to live in buildings that house lower income tenants. I've read about that issue being a sticking point with proposed new apartment buildings that were to also include accommodations for low income tenants.
I am lower income and subsidized housing at this apartment place of 100 units. Many here are middle class and friendly towards the lower income here and think of us as equal. I don't know of any that look down their nose at us!
 

Aunt Bea

SF VIP
Location
Near Mount Pilot
I am lower income and subsidized housing at this apartment place of 100 units. Many here are middle class and friendly towards the lower income here and think of us as equal. I don't know of any that look down their nose at us!
It’s similar in my complex of approx 200 apartments.

Some tenants receive rent subsidies or vouchers, but unless they choose to disclose that information there is no way that anyone would know their financial situation.
 

Tish

SF VIP
Our current PM grew up in social housing. His mother was a single parent with a serious health condition. He went to a public school and is now the Prime Minister of Australia. Not exactly uncivilised and knows which knife and fork to used at a formal dinner with other world leaders.

Social housing gives children a chance of a stable home life and an education that they would otherwise miss out on if they were homeless or repeatedly changing their address when the rent gets hiked at the end of every lease.
Hear hear!
 


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