Hello minions. It is I, Sad Sack. I have taken a slight, er, hiatus (Break? Sabbatical? Reprieve?) from blogging in recent weeks but I’m back now. Holy crap in a hand basket, I am one exhausted puddle of primordial ooze. But enough about me, apparently there’s some sort of “housing crisis” happening in Mo-town. Of course there is (you bastards). I’ve lost the ability to even be surprised at the trials, tribulations, and hardships that befall Modesto and population. I think there’s just a list somewhere of “Crap That Can Go Wrong” that they PIC (People In Charge) just keeping checking things off of…and they won’t be satisfied until a sinkhole opens in the streets and the smoldering remains of the city disappear into it. I’m trying to do what I can to prevent that, but damn it, I don’t have any damn arms and legs…and its hard. I feel discouraged, minions.
I guess I’ll just look into the current catastrophe.
So, the housing situation sucks. Foreclosures are way up and home values are way down. I guess there are a lot of factors that led to this situation. There are the usual things like divorce, job loss, accidents and illness that individual families may suffer. There’s also the large-scale mass craziness that was created by the housing boom of the early Ought’s (2000-2006). It was a surreal time, but banks, realtors, investment advisors - everything was bent on encouraging people, even ill-equipped people, to buy property. Why, even your favorite nebulous flesh sack toured a few 500K one bedroom condos in Pacific Palisades. Prices were high, but deposits and interest rates were low. They told us we would be stupid not to buy. That, with rates so low, it was a wash…you could pony up $500K on a formerly $250K condo because it would all even out in the end. However, everyone kind of glossed over the “variable” part of variable interest rates. After a year, your 3% rate could shoot up to 10% and suddenly you’d owe thousands more a month on your mortgage. Of course things went down the crapper. Fortunately, this squeezable stress blobule couldn’t even afford the down payment, so I avoided disaster.
According to the Impact of Foreclosures Report, the fallout of foreclosure is widespread, not only are families obligated to move but the “effects may well touch on virtually all aspects of their well-being.” They must deal with displacement and housing instability, financial insecurity, economic hardship, personal and family stress, economic hardships and ill health. The Communities are also affected; they deal with declining property values and physical deterioration, crime, social disorder, population turnover, fiscal stress, and deterioration of services.
One word: shoes. They can all live in giant, castaway shoes…like that old children’s rhyme “There was an old lady who lived in a shoe, I don’t know why she lived in a shoe, perhaps she’ll die.” It was definitely something, kind of like that – and you know what? It’s good advice, too. However, if we can’t find any condo-sized shoes, we may have to look to other avenues to solve this housing crisis.
Well, first things first, we need to focus on preventing foreclosures. We need to support homeowners and offer them counseling if they find themselves in trouble. I will lower the Wall of Impenetrable Despair on and douse with Stinky Butt and Really Awkward sauce anyone who tries to rope these families into foreclosure schemes. I’ll personally give creditors and banks the Evil Eye until they agree to renegotiate loans to give owners more realistic interest rates. If a foreclosure happens anyway, I’ll make sure it’s done fairly. Once evicted, we need to help relocate families into new homes or suitable apartments. I’ll work with the City to set up a program to help pay for temporary hotel fees, apartment deposits, etc…perhaps we can set up some sort of insurance program to encourage landlords to take a chance on these families.
With the help of the community, I will encourage the city to purchase foreclosed homes, fix them up and rent them out. Volunteers will help keep empty houses will be keep neat and tidy.
I envision a world where no one lives on the streets unless they’re already a bit crazy in the head. Families may have gone through some patchy bits, but they were able to meet with creditors and counselors to find ways to keep their homes. Most of the houses will be homes and the empty ones will be well-tended, awaiting their next occupants. The home values will be up, crime will be down and the neighbors will all come to know and like each other. It’ll all be very Stepford Wives.
Completely unrelated Pic - I haven't done a jumping jack in years