I live in a small town, maybe 20,000 folks, but housing is spread out so who knows that they are counting. When I got here, it was a bit run down. People moved old single wides out to $10,000 lots in ‘the valley’. Gee, now? They are developing the land just south of the old cheap areas into half acre lots, where they will build (minimum) 2500 square foot houses for around $350k, and up. We all sit around and ask who can buy these, but maybe it is money from other places.
If you are young, you are beyond screwed. Your screwedness has reached a level beyond infinity. I’m not ‘soft on achievement’, but everyone is not going to become a doctor or lawyer, the stuff that pays well. The remainder of gainful employment is some weird mix of gig economy, retail, service, warehouse worker, whatever. I don’t know how most starting rungs for work lead to paying off a $350k house. They say most people are not paying off their student loans, since Pando. There are 6 million people not paying rent, but there is some kind of eviction moratorium. That has to end. People say things will go back to normal. The prez sez that we are turning the corner. But, real world, a lot of people will be lucky to get a rather minimal job with no prospects. I see delivery drivers, food prep, stuff with no real future beyond the paycheck.
So basically, I see a lot of people who can afford some sort of van for living, and an ebike for transportation. I think big. I see an electric van with insulation that is comfortable, with a lot of solar, and public charge plugs if the sun does not cooperate. What’s the monthly payment? If the van is $50k and the term is 10 years, it might make the 30% rule for someone earning $14 an hour, full time. Then the only question is where to park it. I favor a parking rights rule. The streets are public. You can’t do a lot of stuff on a public street, but you can park, stay inside, and be reasonable about it. A nice van is a decent place to live. I know a guy who has lived in Seattle for years in a very small van. It’s a matter of how you take things. A lot of malls are in trouble. There is some parking. The van has to be able to handle real heat and real cold.
There is an argument for tiny houses, but they need fairly dedicated lots. There is parking in most places. Maybe some of it is ‘overnight’ but it is better than nothing. The problem with just building these large expensive houses is that one day you wake up and there is no place to house people who are essential to making your life work. They tried to remove the sales tax exemption on food here. Even in Utah where nobody fights ‘the man’ they turned that back. Hard. That has to be an object lesson for something.
The thing about ebikes is that they are very cheap transportation. If you can charge them, and solar is good for most needs, that’s about it. But it’s also a climate thing. People can ride in snow, but it takes a level of commitment. With real bike paths and snow clearance, or heated paths, it’s less of an issue. There has to be a real commitment to cheap transportation. California hasn’t gotten anywhere with basic housing. Housing and transport. I don’t know what vision of ebikes people are selling on these forums, but it’s not quite transport. When you start looking at these issues for minority communities, it’s staggering.
There is a government issue. What do you want from government? If you say it is all the market, great! But then you ask government to get rid of the guy in the van, who may be parked in front of your house? If you want a free for all, make sure you know what that means. We are well on out way to ‘No rules”, the free for all. If it happens it is going to be nasty as fu#@.
OK, so you are going to have all these people in these big houses, and the prices are going up, week by week, right now. And then you have, basically, everyone else. And these folks, ‘the rest’, are going to do....? People with basic incomes need an economy that works for them. That would be a major restructuring.