No. of Recommendations: 5
The usual origin of the homeless problem is that people can't find a place to live they can afford

That's certainly the popular thinking....increasing housing include PITI or the rent from a houseowner paying the PITI, utilities and rising property taxes ====> increasing homelessness. However, around here at least (SW Washington), the local paper did a survey of outlying mobile home parks and found multiple vacancies. These 'estates', to include manufactured home communities, are typically low cost and affordable for most low income households. From The Columbian article...

Renting a concrete pad is more affordable. At Van Mall RV Park, located among several car lots just outside the city limits, sites cost $400 to $530 monthly depending on whether it’s a back-in or pull-through. The month-to-month rent includes water, sewer, garbage, Wi-Fi and cable, as well as use of the onsite restroom, shower and laundry facilities. Tenants pay for electricity.

Available RV and Long term trailer parks

Buying an older single-wide or RV to put on the pad is pretty inexpensive with affordable loan payments for most low income individuals. But for those unable to afford even that, there are those with older units willing to donate them through a local charitable organization (sorry, can't find their web site). IOW, there are ways to provide very low cost housing with a little work.

So why the vacancies with so many homeless? One reason could be homeless don't know about it or its too far out for homeless without a car and not near bus service. Those are possible. Or is there another reason? Do some/many of the homeless have the means to live independently and simply choose to live in vacant lots rent free where others feed and clothe them, thus saving them the cost of rent allowing them to use the savings on their lifestyle, such as booze, drugs or gambling? For those in the latter group, assistance is almost certainly needed for most that will involve counselling, case work and perhaps some tough love (city prison and road work crews). But my primary point here is that assuming homelessness is simply a result of the high cost of housing, for most, is over simplistic.

There's the old Libertarian saying that we should not forget....

"If you offer it for free, a line will form"

Just sayin

Print the post  


The Retirement Investing Board
This is the board for all discussions related to Investing for and during retirement. To keep the board relevant and Foolish to everyone, please avoid making any posts pertaining to political partisanship. Fool on and Retire on!
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.