Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The affordable housing game

The paper reported another real estate sale fee increase (you pay a hefty fee when you sell property based on sale price) to build "affordable housing" in Columbus, Ohio. And if you check the business news for your town, you'll probably see the same thing, different amount, different catchy name or acronym.

I've tracked this ploy for 40 years, under various names at my blog. Even 20 years ago, based on the transfers that went into this, there should have been no unaffordable housing for the workers our booming economy is drawing to central Ohio. Why? Because if you're smart and invest wisely, you move up and sell that house to another family. We bought our first home, a duplex in a shabby neighborhood, for $14,000 in 1962, the renter (now a FB friend, a liberal) paid our mortgage, and 2 years later we "moved up" to a nicer area and our renters paid both mortgages plus the car payment, and we paid back my father from whom we borrowed the down payment.

Many do benefit from "affordable housing" government (local, state, federal) programs. Middle and upper middle class. Developers, builders, sub-contractors, bureaucrats, government employees, banks, non-profits who get the grants, churches, salesmen, and even groups like ACORN who provide the workshops on how to use the money. The article names specific programs and funds. So what happened to "North of Broad," "Crossing at Joyce", "Home Again," "Restore Columbus," and CHIP, to name just a few that a decade ago were the darlings of the housing saviors?…

There were 160 housing programs in the federal government in 2012. That figure probably hasn't shrunk. I suspect they may have been at the bottom of the 2007-08 housing bubble that burst.

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