gentrification

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gentrification

Postby zetreque on May 22nd, 2018, 12:39 am 

I'm not sure gentrification is the exact word for this thread but it certainly seems like the growing trend is that there becomes less condos and houses for poor people to buy because every time a cheap place comes up on the market some rich person buys it to rent out. As the rich get richer they buy more real estate to rent out and it just becomes a monopoly game.

Would it at all be feasible or possible to pass laws where you can't own more than two homes that you rent out in a single county?

Would such a law help or hurt society? Like if you stop wealthy people from buying cheap places does that actually help poor people become home owners because prices might stabilize to a more realistic level?
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Re: gentrification

Postby BadgerJelly on May 22nd, 2018, 1:58 am 

How about the government just building low cost housing and only selling them to low income families? Of course there will likely always be loop holes.

I don't see the need to make blanket laws to destroy property businesses. That said you have talked about "rent" only here and I honestly don't know enough about property business to comment on how detrimental or progressive such a law could be?

In the UK there is this:

https://www.gov.uk/council-housing

Far from ideal, and often surrounded by controversy for reason or another.
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Re: gentrification

Postby Braininvat on May 22nd, 2018, 9:49 am 

Some cities have tried low cost housing with variable success. And cities like NY have rent control laws that discouraged the kind of property grabs you describe. But there needs to be more. And more mixed income neighborhoods where you encounter people from all walks of life.
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Re: gentrification

Postby Serpent on May 22nd, 2018, 9:57 am 

The problem with low-income housing is that it's usually built by a private contractor who made a low bid (or slipped a kickback to the councillor, or is related to the mayor). Government contracts are a much-sought-after source of profit: there is little or no oversight, lax inspection and cost overruns are nearly always covered. It's easy to get away with shoddy workmanship, corner-cutting, misappropriation and substitution of materials. The product is late but not that great. When resentful poor people and their hope-deprived adolescent offspring have lived there for a few years, maintenance grows inordinately expensive and policing is next to impossible. It becomes a money-pit.
Cash-strapped local councils regularly sell of tracts of public housing to high-end developers when the value of the land it's on makes revenue from the sale and subsequent rise in property tax irresistible.
Rent control has run cities into financial troubles, too. Trump made his first big killing on the lapse of long-term rent controls in New York. Thousands of people were displaced.

One major factor overheating real estate markets is foreign investment. Legitimate international business interests, as well as a safe place for wealthy families to stash a nestegg for their children, and not-so-legal entities to launder profits.
What some governments have tried is taxing foreign speculators http://business.financialpost.com/real-estate/expect-toronto-to-follow-suit-if-vancouvers-very-aggressive-speculation-tax-on-property-succeeds Of course, there is push-back from business, and the home-grown speculators - including organized crime - still get away with gobbling up the housing so that working people can't afford to live in their home town anymore.
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Re: gentrification

Postby zetreque on May 22nd, 2018, 2:53 pm 

Let's just ignore "affordable housing" for this thread. That's a complete joke in the US. Or at least where I live it has failed every single time.

I'm not talking about low cost housing, I'm curious about limiting rich people from controlling real estate in an anti-monopoly way. Like even zillow is getting in on the home ownership flipping game now that I'm sure is only a matter of time before they start up a rental segment of their business.

One way to control wealth accumulation is to flat out prevent it. Make it illegal in some way to own too much land (which really should be a resource for all. Didn't my generation grow up with the "this land is your land, this land is my land" song? lol or was it misinterpreted?). That would bring more equal access to the world and it's resources and a step in the direction against the capitalism pyramid.
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Re: gentrification

Postby BadgerJelly on May 23rd, 2018, 12:28 am 

Zet -

I don't think you quite understand that you'll end up with middle men and then the real "owners" would lose legal responsibility for the property.

Affordable housing makes perfect sense. Simply make it so that someone who has paid rent for X amount of times then has the legal right to buy the property outright. Do this by setting a reasonable profit margin for those who invest in the building in the first instance. Of course there are problems here too because house prices fall and drop and if the margin was not well designed you'd find a bunch of empty houses falling into disrepair because no one is willing to buy them and rent them out, and the really poor people simply don't have the capital to put down for purchase. To get onto the property ladder this sort of thing seems more practical than hobbling real estate businesses.
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Re: gentrification

Postby zetreque on May 23rd, 2018, 12:30 am 

And as before I don't think you understand the US system or what my OP was.
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Re: gentrification

Postby Serpent on May 23rd, 2018, 8:21 am 

zetreque » May 22nd, 2018, 1:53 pm wrote:One way to control wealth accumulation is to flat out prevent it. Make it illegal in some way to own too much land (which really should be a resource for all. Didn't my generation grow up with the "this land is your land, this land is my land" song? lol or was it misinterpreted?).

Those popular slogans have never been true. How many American revolutionaries renounced their title to lands granted their forebears by the British crown or the french one? Never mind that these were native's lands - the beneficiaries didn't seem to mind.
On the contrary, several of the "all men are created equal" crowd inherited and accumulated land (each with its own slave population - natch) after the revolution. That great republican, Jefferson, inherited 11,000 acres from his father-in-law, to add to the 7000+ acres left by his own father, plus purchases in between. Then, of course, the US government granted land claims to homesteaders - acres by the thousands to tobacco planters, vintners, cattle ranchers and fruit growers, and leased great tracts of exploitable land to the railroads, mining and lumber industries.
The cities, certainly since the early 19th century, have always had more rental housing than individual homes occupied by their owners, as well as manufacturing, storage, retail and office space, all owned by landlords.
Commercial real estate has been the surest and fastest way to fortune since the country began. Wealth makes American aristocracy and the aristocracy rules. I can't see the ruling class curbing its own appetite for land acquisition any time soon.
That would bring more equal access to the world and it's resources and a step in the direction against the capitalism pyramid.

And that will have to wait for the next revolution.
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Re: gentrification

Postby zetreque on May 23rd, 2018, 1:13 pm 

I don't need a history lesson about what greedy people want, just a what if scenario about pros and cons of outlawing monopoly type land ownership. Like one human can only occupy the space around it. Not multiple spaces around everywhere just because of a piece of paper granting ownership.

One problem I see is banks. Obviously they are the monopoly winners holding mortgage titles. Anyway. It doesn't seem like anyone here is getting it so I'm over it now.
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Re: gentrification

Postby Serpent on May 23rd, 2018, 3:47 pm 

It's the historical reality that creates the present legal and economic structure.
Your proposal can't be considered seriously under the current regime, or any foreseeable near future.
Sure it would be better - but it can't happen in America as it currently stands.
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Re: gentrification

Postby zetreque on May 23rd, 2018, 4:53 pm 

Way to be optimistic.
All it takes is one county somewhere in the country to be like "Hey, the same owner can't own 3 or more houses in our county." Of course there might be a legal court battle and whatnot but that's how everything starts out. Anyway, what's to stop us from thinking about it in the mean time?
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Re: gentrification

Postby Serpent on May 23rd, 2018, 6:26 pm 

We, socialists, have been thinking about it all along.
More - for many decades now, where we have had a sitting government, or decisive influence over a liberal one, we have implemented measures to accomplish what you just now suggest as if it were a new idea.
That's how I know what kind of opposition you face. I've earned my pessimism.
But I still wish you the best in your future endeavours.
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Re: gentrification

Postby BadgerJelly on May 25th, 2018, 6:28 am 

zetreque » May 23rd, 2018, 12:30 pm wrote:And as before I don't think you understand the US system or what my OP was.


I gave a “con.” You have middle men. So if the law is passed to limit the number of properties held some evil rich guy will no doubt choose to bribe poorer folk into renting property out for them.

The law is meaningless if there is no realistic way to enforce it. The question is what counter measures can be put in place? And what if the poor cannot afford to buy property? The later could be countered by setting regional limits on rent with an inbuilt option to buy.

I still don’t see how poor people can afford to buy property if they are poor. Therefore someone needs to buy the property to rent it out. The puzzle is then finding a way to have some independent body to decide upon the rent for each given property (a gap for bribes there sadly.)

One solution could be to have people buy property and calculate some set profit margin after which rent will drop and/or the property could be put back on the market - the original buyer would’ve made a profit and then the option can be for the residents to take out a mortgage and buy the property themselves. Either way SOMEONE has to fork out to buy he housing in the first place. If there are not enough people interested then it makes sense for someone to buy up more property - then there is the issue of financial fluctuations in the property market where, even with the above idea, it could leave property owners making little to no profit and housing never being freed up for poorer folk.
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