With daily sad stories about low income folks–many are refugees–being forced out of their apartments due to rent hikes, questions about “affordable housing” are being raised.
Those who are being “driven out” are not the homeless living in tents. They are people who have paid monthly rents at places that are in need of improvements, but with the improvements come increased rent.
It is pretty difficult to tell a landlord he shouldn’t increase rent when there is an apparent shortage of the so-called affordable units on the market. Society certainly doesn’t want to encourage “slum lords,” but the Boise politicos and capitalists want to see the best return on investment which means there is little incentive to build cheap apartments and rent them at a low rate when there is apparently cash to be had for high-end units in the downtown core.
Some random thoughts, questions and observations to kick off discussion:
–Is there any hope to build private low end housing in the 30th Street urban renewal area not subsidized by taxpayers? What about sharing the misery and building low cost units north of the river in the North End?
–The Vista neighborhood and Boise Bench in general have been the dumping ground for refugees and low income workers. Should apartment owners be demonized for attempts to move their property into a higher income bracket? No one seems upset about new apartments and condos in the downtown that start at $300,000.
–Do we need a city mandated minimum wage so workers can afford to work for all the hotels, restaurants, and retailers flocking into downtown Boise? There seems to be cash to construct buildings, but do any of them contain cheap apartments for the worker bees.
–Is the growth and “stimulated economy,” putting a drain on the likes of public housing, the Idaho Food Bank, the long simmering tent city issue of homeless at Cooper Court?
Timing for tenant evictions couldn’t be worse for apartment owners, coming on the eve of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The STATESMAN’s Audrey Dutton has a STORY explaining one of the major factors.
“According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data for the first quarter of 2015, the average weekly wage in Ada County was $873. In Canyon County, it was $630. The average statewide was $736, compared with $1,048 nationwide and ranking Idaho 50th in the U.S. for wages, ahead of only Mississippi.”
Read more HERE.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.