Evicted

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Submitted by moneymaker on January 10, 2018 - 9:41pm

EVICTED: POVERTY AND PROFIT IN THE AMERICAN CITY by MATTHEW DESMOND. Just finishing it up and really like the Epilogue. Would rather read about it than live it.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 11, 2018 - 10:18am.

I read the synopsis.

I didn't want to read about the 8 families. As a landlord I don't feel like personal stories are my problems. There are lots of screwed up people who can't pay rent. Thankfully, I know how to screen them out but, everyday, i see other landlords who are incompetent and have to deal with bad tenants.

That said, I believe our housing policies and social policies are screwed up. We have lots people with medical problems, substance abuse, low education, criminal history, etc... who have a hard time paying rent. As a society, we are not dealing with it.

What's the epilogue? Can you give it away?

Submitted by bewildering on January 11, 2018 - 12:12pm.

Read the first review on Amazon of this book. It is quite informative:

"Then we have Sherrena who with her husband runs about 18 buildings (mostly two-family flats) in the African-American neighborhoods on the north side of Milwaukee. In a chapter titled “The ‘Hood is Good” Desmond blithely accepts Sherrena’s boast that she has a net worth of $2 million and nets $10,000 a month in rental income. Desmond is honest in portraying the many difficulties Sherrena has in collecting rent from her struggling tenants but he doesn’t do the background research (available from local court records) about the many thousands of dollars in unpaid rents and damaged units which sort of cut into profits a little bit.

As to her supposed net worth of $2 million, that averages out to $111,000 for each of these 18 ghetto properties - certainly far more than some of the real dumpy ones are worth – but the author does not research the amounts of the recorded mortgages against these properties (ranging between $64,000 and $119,200) which further greatly reduce the claimed net worth. That would have been revealed in the many foreclosures filed against Sherrena’s properties which started within a year after Desmond’s visit to Milwaukee."

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 11, 2018 - 4:18pm.

Interesting observations on Sherena, the landlord. But she was an under capitalized landlord of the bubble. Since then the hoods have gentrified -- not all hoods, but many hoods in major American cities.

I own near UNLV in Las Vegas, the hood in many respects. But since the bottom, price have tripled and rents for 1 bedroom went from $400 to $700. I'm getting $900 because I have upgrades such as granite countertops.

In major metros, a lot of people are being evicted or not getting leases renewed so they're moving out further to the older suburbs which are becoming "hoods". They often don't have cars or public transport to get to jobs.

There are so many people with mental problems, addiction, etc... I have heard it all. I know a lady who is a landlord. She is an immigrant who worked hard and invested. But she doesn't do credit checks, job verification or background checks. She has deplorable tenants who have all kinds of stories, real or imagined. That lady is too compassionate and she can't brink herself to evict people who have nowhere to go. So the community is deplorable partly because of her having "too much heart." I'm trying to get her to gentrify and screen tenants and operate her rentals in more deliberate fashion.

While I blame the individual residents for the way they live in dark, messy, cluttered conditions, I also understand that they may not know any other way. Their lives are filled drama and dysfunction. I could write a book also.

As a country we are not investing in our human capital. Kids have bad education, parents don't value education. Maybe that worked in the 20th century but it's a recipe for decline in the 21st century.

Submitted by moneymaker on January 11, 2018 - 10:14pm.

The epilogue is the next to last chapter where the author gives statistics on evictions and basically his "view", unfortunately his only real solution is "housing vouchers" which I personally don't think is the answer. Today CA missed passing rent control in the whole state by 1 vote. So no real solution to the problem is laid out. He does state that in Milwaukee 1 in 5 black women have been evicted, compared to 1 in 12 Hispanic women, and 1 in 15 white women. Another interesting fact is that the difference between "hood" homes and nicer ones is sometimes only $200-$300 a month.

Submitted by spdrun on January 12, 2018 - 6:31am.

California did not "miss passing rent control in the state by one vote."

The bill got downvoted IN COMMITTEE by a 2-3 vote. It never went to the entire Assembly.

It also didn't extend rent control to the entire state. It would have extended rent control to SFRs and post-1995 homes, if local law allowed for it.

Submitted by moneymaker on January 12, 2018 - 8:28am.

Thanks for the correction spdrun, I just caught a snippet on the news, sorry for the "fake news".

Submitted by cvmom on January 12, 2018 - 9:24am.

moneymaker wrote:
Thanks for the correction spdrun, I just caught a snippet on the news, sorry for the "fake news".

Such a reasonable discussion. This site is (mostly) a haven for smart, rational opinions. I really enjoy reading it. Thanks!

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 12, 2018 - 12:43pm.

There was a frontline documentary I missed. Still have not watched it.

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/...

Submitted by njtosd on January 13, 2018 - 9:07pm.

To me it seems as though there hasn't been any genuine effort to economically address the situation. The Philadelphia Housing Authority built 88 units for $35 million, or $400,000 per unit. http://aldianews.com/articles/politics/h...

On the other hand, these 2 bed/ 2 bath units are being sold commercially in Philadelphia (presumably at a profit) for a little over $200,000: https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhom...

It reminds me of a high school built in NJ in about 2010 at a cost of $185 million (or about $462/sq ft). It still is one of the most expensive public high schools ever built and is currently ranked by at least one source as the 36th worst high school in NJ. http://newbrunswicktoday.com/article/nj-...

I don't have an answer to the problem - but throwing money at it in the form of housing vouchers doesn't seem to be working: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/arc...

Submitted by phaster on January 14, 2018 - 1:04pm.

njtosd wrote:
To me it
    seems as though there hasn't been any genuine effort to economically address the situation.

The Philadelphia Housing Authority built 88 units for $35 million, or $400,000 per unit.

On the other hand, these 2 bed/ 2 bath units are being sold commercially in Philadelphia (presumably at a profit) for a little over $200,000

that's my own take on the issue,...

looking at the local homeless issue, seems last weeks media show (like the Philadelphia Housing Authority news report to have built 88 units), is just that,... "a photo-opt" to appease those asking elected officials to have bureaucracy do something about a visible symptom

Quote:

Mayor Kevin Faulconer says San Diego has taken the wrong approach on homelessness and needs to change.

The question is, can he?

In his annual State of the City address Thursday, Faulconer took ownership of the homeless crisis, acknowledged attempted solutions haven’t worked and promised a more forceful effort to resolve it.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news...

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