Multigenerational Communities or Tent Cities?

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Tent city at University Congregational United Church of Christ, October 2010. (Photo by Jenna Montgomery)

As the human economy moves back within the limits of Earth’s systems—whether through proactive degrowth or unplanned economic contraction—the residential housing market in overdeveloped countries like the United States will surely evolve.

Without planning it could take a similar tack as the former Soviet Union, where the poor were priced out of the increasingly valuable urban core. Or it could look more like Las Vegas or Phoenix during the housing crisis, where people just walked away from mortgages that were suddenly larger than the worth of their homes. Second homes could be abandoned, larger homes traded for smaller manageable homes, and the poorest could end up in tent cities like the one documented in Tent City U.S.A.

But hopefully, instead, we’ll work now to make residential neighborhoods denser so that they don’t become unnavigable without cars and cheap gasoline. What strategies could we use to do so? Should we work to add additional generations into family homes, or perhaps build smaller rental homes in backyards like many towns and cities in the Pacific Northwest are doing? Clearly not an either/or strategy. I explore both possibilities in a new Guardian Sustainable Business blog. Read more there.

One thought on “Multigenerational Communities or Tent Cities?”

  1. actually this problem is really just a part of the bigger problem if you decrease hte supply of housing to demand you automatically raise prices and naturally those with less income will be out bidded by those with more money, but if you make supply equal demand or greater prices go down and even poor can afford one. forcing people to live closer and more crammed together in housing including forcing people to doubling or tripling up in their own homes, well that is not going to solve anything. but if you prevent people from voting with their feet and wallets by restricting where people can live and work and build (through zoning restrictions and green lining)and such you automattically create artificial scarcity. and those who happen to own said properties before the restrictions and scarcity stand ot make a “killing” off the properties they own. naturally these people will use sustainable development ideas to increase their profitability claiming it will helpe with homelessness and poverty which is a lie. sustaniable developments sounds like a scheme by the wealthy who own alot of land and housing as investments and want to increase the value oftheir investments aka rent seeking using economic crisis whether real or imagined to do so. so in order to increase the value of hte commodities you own you must create artifical scarcity using gov regulations, licensing requirements, putting more and more land off limits to development of any kind and sending your corporations overseas to cheap labor and materials and thus create the problem so you can offer the solution that will give you mega profits nad power. this also requires population reductions of those who cannot compete (hence cannot run on the treadmill at top speed forlong periods) with those who can run top speed making them profits using credit, taxation and the like. in other words those who are highly productive and able to carry debt the longest wins the privelege of living while those who do not either are sent to labor camps or to the gas chambers, I believe hitler and stalin and lenin and mao used this methods to increase profit and power and look at the results. total breakdown, the wealth elites got it all and left the masses to pay for it with their lives. so htis homelessness problem is just part of the disease you have to destroy the disease before you solve this homelessness problem.

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