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Article in “The Atlantic” Slams Blue State Liberal Policies for Homelessness Crisis

Article in “The Atlantic” Slams Blue State Liberal Policies for Homelessness Crisis

Meanwhile,Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass declares a “state of emergency” over the region’s homelessness problems.

I had to check my calendar to ensure the date wasn’t April 1st, as The Atlantic is poised to publish an article arguing that California and blue states have staggering amounts of homelessness because progressive policies make it difficult to build enough housing to meet demands.

Los Angeles perfectly demonstrates the competing impulses within the left. In 2016, voters approved a $1.2 billion bond measure to subsidize the development of housing for homeless and at-risk residents over a span of 10 years. But during the first five years, roughly 10 percent of the housing units the program was meant to create were actually produced. In addition to financing problems, the biggest roadblock was small groups of objectors who didn’t want affordable housing in their communities.

Los Angeles isn’t alone. The Bay Area is notorious in this regard. In the spring of 2020, the billionaire venture capitalist Marc Andreessen published an essay, “It’s Time to Build,” that excoriated policy makers’ deference to “the old, the entrenched.” Yet it turned out that Andreessen and his wife had vigorously opposed the building of a small number of multifamily units in the wealthy Bay Area town of Atherton, where they live.

In the piece, The Atlantic staff writer takes apart excuses, such as mental health issues and climate, that are often used to account for the crisis in places like California.

..[T] the claim that drug abuse and mental illness are the fundamental causes of homelessness falls apart upon investigation. If mental-health issues or drug abuse were major drivers of homelessness, then places with higher rates of these problems would see higher rates of homelessness. They don’t. Utah, Alabama, Colorado, Kentucky, West Virginia, Vermont, Delaware, and Wisconsin have some of the highest rates of mental illness in the country, but relatively modest homelessness levels. What prevents at-risk people in these states from falling into homelessness at high rates is simple: They have more affordable-housing options.

With similar reasoning, we can reject the idea that climate explains varying rates of homelessness. If warm weather attracted homeless people in large numbers, Seattle; Portland, Oregon; New York City; and Boston would not have such high rates of homelessness and cities in southern states like Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi such low ones.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles’ new mayor, Karen Bass, has taken a page out of the pandemic playbook and declared a “state of emergency” to deal with the region’s homelessness crisis.

That move, which will require City Council approval, gives her the ability to more quickly create new interim housing and make a plan to get the most vulnerable Angelenos off the streets as winter weather sets in. Bass met with the general managers of city departments, telling them to bring her solutions to make the government more efficient and responsive when addressing homelessness.

…The question is how Bass plans to use the powers afforded to her during an emergency. She has the ability to more quickly dispense money to providers who do the outreach work to homeless people, approve the master-leasing of buildings and expedite the regulatory and permitting processes.

Though she could also commandeer property to provide housing, she told The Times’ editorial board she won’t do that because “you’re going to end up tied up in court forever. I’m looking for the quickest way to do this.”

It’s unclear how much this emergency declaration would cost, if passed, or how many units of interim housing Bass plans to create immediately.

I suspect Bass will continue to push failed policies that will continue to fail…but maybe someone could tuck a copy of “The Atlantic” under her pillow?


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The only policy that’s more important to a leftist than “affordable housing” (or “green energy”) is the policy of “NIMBY”.

The solution is to take them to Mexico and bring them back as illegals so they would be properly cared for.

Dolce Far Niente | December 19, 2022 at 3:28 pm

Its shocking to realize these people actually CANNOT see past their own nose.

And not only are they presumed to be adults with some life experience, but they wield vast power and spend your tax dollars wildly, despite being functionally morons.

And somewhere around 40% of this nation are cool wit dat.

Democrats are the only people who seem to want to live in years and years of failed Democrat governance.

Money’s not the issue … West coast cities allocate hundreds of millions every year to deal with the homeless … The problem it least in part is the democrats have turned homelessness into an employment program for God only knows how many … With many getting 6 figure salaries … They have a vested interest in not solving the problem …. How hard would you work at breaking your own rice bowl

There is another big reason why Colorado, Utah, Vermont, Delaware, and Wisconsin don’t have as many homeless. Winters there can be brutal, If you are living on the streets in any of those states, there is a good chance of freezing to death before spring.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to Ann in L.A.. | December 19, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    Yes sort of. I’ve been in south Utah almost 2 years now. Its the desert, but deserts are cold. We wake up to mid-20s now each day. No precipitation. Highs in 40s. This is not unbearable, but I have a house, and can afford heat. Up north, Salt Lake City has homeless and its much colder there. They found one of them dead on the street this morning, Other northern states probably have the same kind of issues. It is no surprise that Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, the Dakotas have a meager homeless population.

    The problem is that the Left does want to get to a solution; they want the issue. In this case it is the ability to get people to sign off on more public debt which is funneled to NGOs that spend on staff and little on the actual task at hand. And those NGOs in turn contribute to political campaigns. The taxpayers are getting robbed.

    henrybowman in reply to Ann in L.A.. | December 20, 2022 at 12:23 am

    “Bigbrains at the Atlantic miss the obvious.”
    On my 2022 bingo card, that was the free space.

California has a higher population than all those states combined… Excuse me if I’m not impressed that Vermont (633,000 people) has a higher mental illness rate than California (39,000,000 people). California probably has more lunatics than Vermont has people

    Lehosh in reply to Lehosh. | December 20, 2022 at 2:00 am

    hah! I was right… California has a mental illness rate of 17.38%… So 6,800,000 mentally ill people. Higher than the populations of any of those listed states.

Man, oh man, you can’t slip anything past that Karen Bass, she is one sharp customer.

(Things are so bad in this country there is nothing left but sarcasm and snarkiness before it comes apart. Next, installment; the house and senate send a multi-trillion bill to the president, he signs it, then they all hop in their government supplied planes to get home for the holidays.)

P.S. What recession?

Here in Ohio, a local PBS radio station’s guest revered to “unhoused” while advocating for more spending.

Ridiculous. Miami or Palm Beach are hardly inexpensive. It’s not a housing problem.

All the places with massive homelessness in the streets have in common: liberal drug laws, that they are soft on shoplifting and other “petty” crimes, and that they don’t Baker-Act crazies.

“If mental-health issues or drug abuse were major drivers of homelessness, then places with higher rates of these problems would see higher rates of homelessness. They don’t.” You are assuming that people don’t leave their home town. They do – and in my experience, the first of my high school classmates to leave our small midwestern town for California and/or the big cities were the least mentally stable.

This is by far the stupidest article I have read at illegal insurrection.
It is certainly true that the rate of mental illness has no relation to the rate of homelessness.
Because in places run by sane people (Republicans) the homeless are not allowed to take over the streets and parks and pitch tents and claim the public space for themselves
There is more homeless is in California and Portland not because there’s more mental illness, but because the authorities allow the mentally ill homeless to take over the streets and parks.
So the mentally ill migrate to where they are allowed to congregate.

“Build it and they will come.”
The formula is easy — the more money and facilities that is poured into making life easier for the derelicts, the more of them will show up to partake of it.

Every farm kid knows that if you don’t want rats, you stop feeding them. My guess is that no blue state politician has ever been near a farm, except the fake ones which show up for a couple of weeks before Halloween to sell the pumpkins that were trucked in. The only growth industry in Portland these days is the house and feed the feral humans program. Everyone else is bugging out.