There has been a lot of talk about homelessness, largely because it seems so fascinating to wealthy people that everyone has a great deal of trouble securing a long-term location. While most of that “incredulity” is a lie due to their direct involvement in people being unhoused, it is highly credible that so many people have difficulties closing a door, especially when there are so many obstacles. “Experts” continue to demand that more housing be built, but the reality is that the real estate industry has no interest in stimulating affordability, and there is always a convenient excuse not to put people in houses, even though there are plenty of vacant homes, and we live in a world where so much work is done from different locations than a physical office. Honestly, there are three components–availability, money, job–to housing that have to coordinate exactly in step for people to avoid homelessness, so the current rate is nothing short of a miracle.
First of all, many people enjoy forcing other people to pay more for a home than the listed mortgage because of “the market,” while “the market” is supposedly formed from the general populace. Therefore, even though homes may be available, the owners will likely be using the home to subsidize a lifestyle of some sort, which is why there are so many vacant homes in very popular areas. Residents are then forced to go through a barrage of different people who have something to gain should housing be acquired: real estate agency, apartment locator, owner, roommates, family, etc. Many of these people have the permission to do credit checks, background checks, employment verification, references and other searches to verify whether the property owner feels comfortable saving someone from couch surfing or camping.
Next, people have to have money upfront to offer the barrage of different people: application fees, deposits, cleaning fees, insurance, and other fees or responsibilities that the property owner may have decided. If people have been unemployed or underemployed, these sums could be catastrophic, and then the resident would have to expend massive efforts to acquire moving fees in addition to the aforementioned sums. Arbitrarily raising housing costs means that people are forced to come up with these sums multiple times; even after finally being able to reach some level of financial stability, they get knocked down again. Without personal vehicles, a network of personal vehicles, or funds to rent commercial vehicles, some people can be forced into camping or couch surfing after doing their level best to avoid such situations.
Most importantly, hiring responses are abysmal, despite what certain individuals might believe. While government jobs are notoriously awful, private entities have done little to change their hiring practices even when there have been international crises encouraging them to get rid of redundancies and streamline their processes. All property owners can see is that residents might not be employed, which makes them look irresponsible to potential landlords or risks as potential homeowners. Tentative job offers fail to provide income while people are waiting, so residents then have to acquire savings to avoid eviction despite being told that they were employed. Also, jobs that were guaranteed could be eliminated without notice, making it difficult to either find a different job or make up the income, leading to eviction–which takes years to redeem from a credit report. Furthermore, the gig economy means that more people are contractors, not employees, so there would be even less of an employment history to use as a reference.
The convergence of all these issues have led to the current stress of today, and instead of re-examining why people still rely so heavily on immediate income and employment instead of dealing with vacant housing, the deluded wealthy are doubling down, so sure are they that there is further money to be extracted. It is extreme collaboration between private and public entities against public welfare, which is being further intensified by the criminalization of homelessness and lower wages. We are now witnessing how building a society of extraction and exploitation will reap the destruction it has sown.