Thursday, January 23, 2014

Flophouses: Our Immigrant-driven Future

Via Trumwill, from Slate:

Bring Back Flophouses, Rooming Houses, and Microapartments

Dumb urban policies wiped out the best kinds of housing for the poor, young, and single. But they’re finally making a comeback in smart cities.

. . . .

In the following decade, California began regulating rooming houses and other hotels, setting standards for bathrooms (one per 10 bedrooms), window area per room, floor space per room, and more. Again, some of these rules may have had health benefits, and the rules’ proponents certainly thought they were helping. Yet they knocked the cheapest rooms off the market without providing substitutes.

Mmm . . . government policies that make illegal people’s inexpensive choices, all “for their own good”.  That sounds . . . really familiar!  I wonder what Slate had to say about it.

The rules were not accidents. Real-estate owners eager to minimize risk and maximize property values worked to keep housing for poor people away from their investments.

Without changing the underlying reality, that paragraph could be rewritten thusly:

The rules were not accidents.  Residents eager to minimize crime and maximize quality-of-life worked to keep violent and dysfunctional people away from where their children played.

Kind of puts a different spin on the same set of facts, doesn’t it?

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