It’s a rare moment when two branches of our federal government take major steps to expand opportunity for all Americans. But, with relatively little fanfare, that’s what’s happened over the last few weeks in the critical area of housing.
It’s good to hear that another step, however small it was, was a movement towards more fair housing policies. Nobody, regardless of age, race, religion, ethnicity, color, sexual orientation, or on the basis of a disability of some sort or other, or socioeconomic status, should be barred from moving into a given area for such arbitrary reasons.
Had Boston’s B-BURG (Boston Banks Urban Renewal Group) Program moved to create racially/ethnically integrated housing throughout the city of Boston, instead of singling out the Jewish neighborhoods in the city of Boston for this program, and with better leadership on the part of the Boston School Committee, the disastrous Federal Court-mandated, large-scale, cross-city busing edict that took Boston by storm and helped exacerbate racial tensions and hostilities in the city of Boston to such dangerous levels wouldn’t have had to be implemented.
In the event that the world shapes up differently than nottheonly1 foresees, there some things that might work without regulatory intervention. It is important to understand the impact of your borrowing on my cost of living. Ultimately one person’s borrowing raises the price all persons must pay for a given product or service. If I bid three years savings for a car, you can outbid me by bidding three years savings plus two more years of your future savings. I either have to save longer, do without, or borrow to get that car. Margrit Kennedy wrote a good piece on the cost of interest falling most heavily on the poor, and the rewards most heavily on the wealthy. http://kennedy-bibliothek.info/data/bibo/media/GeldbuchEnglisch.pdf
One step to end discrimination is houses being listed on line, The MLS and FSBO listings are good examples of letting every person see every house that is for sale, whether a RE agent wants to shopw it or not,
Another step is would be taking direct control of the money supply through the use of public banking, so it is more responsive to the needs of a larger group of citizens than our private banking model currently is. Public banks would not have the “its their money they can do what they want” defense of their lending and would be more directly responsible to meeting lending standards such as the CRA.
Another option would be to form investing clubs that invest in houses. Five hundred people investing $50 each week could raise enough to buy a $250k house in 12 weeks. the second in 24. If the rent is calculated to repay the investment club without interest in 15 years ($250k/15/12) and those payments are are used to purchase more houses the seventh house is purchased in only 11 weeks and 500 houses could be purchased and owned in 17 years.
The numbers could be reworked to speed up the time with higher weekly payments or to fit any housing market with lower or higher housing prices. The second value created is that earned money does not leave in the form of interest payment. The club could choose whether or not to pay a salary (Median wage) to a club member to manage the club. They could make their own rules on who lives in the first house keeping in mind that these houses a rent stabilized with respect to mortgage payments. They could have the people living in the house responsible for all taxes and upkeep or even require member participation in ‘upkeep days’ where ten club members descend upon a house and fixes screens, paint etc. as a part of their membership. But the real benefit is not paying interest to the wealthy and enriching them with your life’s work at the expense of your own life’s future.