In case you somehow missed it in the news, significant portions of California have been on fire recently. And I mean literally on fire. Parts of the state are burning up. At the same time, the state’s ongoing crisis of homelessness has been getting worse rather than better despite multiple government programs and massive amounts of spending having been put in place to combat it. Some of the usual suspects continue to flatly declare that the heatwaves and fires are caused by global warming and somehow that phenomenon is tied into the unaffordable cost of housing in California as well as the endemic issues with homelessness. (Don’t ask me. I’m just reporting what they’re saying.) So what does the government plan to do about it? Leonora Camner, the director of Abundant Housing LA, is pushing to tackle all of these issues simultaneously. (NBC News)
As home prices soar and wildfires rage across California, the state is increasingly confronted with the herculean task of addressing climate change while creating more affordable housing. A series of new mandates recently issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom has plunged the state deeper into what some say is an “existential” dilemma generations in the making: how to house the state’s 40 million residents while also protecting its natural resources.
It’s a complicated task in a state where both homelessness and home prices are on the rise as climate change is fueling wildfires and drought.
“It’s such an existential issue for a California facing climate change,” Camner said. “With these extreme fires, I don’t see how we can ever address housing in a way that doesn’t plan for that fact. There is no getting around it.”
The link above goes to a rather lengthy article that lists many of the various ills plaguing California, particularly in the southern end of the state. Wildfires, heatwaves, unaffordable housing for those with jobs and a lack of public housing to care for the homeless. But what the entire piece is lacking is any sort of coherent solution. The article makes reference to a raft of new bills that Gavin Newsom recently signed into law, some aimed at lowering the state’s carbon footprint and others paving the way for a reduction in single-family housing and more affordable, high-density housing near employment centers.
The people involved in getting these bits of legislation passed are busy patting themselves on the back, but it’s almost impossible to see how any of this is going to create a significant improvement in the conditions that are driving so many Californians to flee the state. Liberals in California have now determined that single-family housing – a huge part of the American dream that so many people aspire to – is an evil that needs to be eradicated. The only new development should focus on towering apartment buildings where the government will artificially keep the prices down.
But who will build structures like that if they can’t turn a profit from them? Obviously, the taxpayers will foot the bill and the projects will be auctioned off to the lowest bidder. I’m sure that will just work out swimmingly.
Will this put a dent in the homelessness crisis? Perhaps, but only a small one and it won’t show up for decades. The state was estimated to have a homeless population in excess of 150,000 last year and it’s only grown since then. How many massive buildings would it take to house that many people and who will pay the ongoing costs associated with not only maintaining the structures but supplying them with utilities and food for the residents?
What’s being overlooked here is the fundamental causes of homelessness. Most of those people didn’t start out living there. They were attracted to Southern California and they’ve been arriving in droves. One reason is the formerly mild weather. It’s a lot easier to survive outdoors in conditions like that than in Minnesota in January. But they are also attracted by the state’s liberal policies of offering “free stuff” to everyone. Once the word gets out that free housing and support are fully on the table, the state will attract even more homeless people. You’ll be filling up buildings faster than you can build them and sooner or later the money is going to run out.
As to the heat and other climate issues, you live in a desert. And you’ve packed far more people into those areas than mother nature can supply water for. You’re draining all of your resources at a breakneck pace and complaining about the conditions. Do the math.
The reality is that California is no longer a suitable habitat for any sort of working-class family, at least in the more popular areas. It’s a magnet for the very rich who can afford ridiculously priced real estate or apartments and the homeless, who have nothing but know there will be programs available to help them. Everyone else is in a lot of trouble and they should probably take the opportunity to get out while they still can.