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Squaler Behind the Golden Gate: Confronting the California Homeless Crisis

Despite being a wealthy city like San Francisco, it has long been annoying to witness the extreme poverty of people experiencing homelessness on the streets. As you walk downtown, you’ll find tents, makeshift cardboard beds, and human excrement scattered on the sidewalk. Poor people lie on the ground, but the blurry faces of high-paying professionals quickly pass by. In 2018, UN officials visited San Francisco for a world tour to investigate housing conditions. She was shocked By what she saw.She Official report He concluded that the city’s treatment of uninhabited people was “cruel and inhumane, a violation of multiple human rights, including rights to life, housing, health, water and sanitation.”The number of homeless people in San Francisco Just grew up Since then Over 8,000 Most people sleep on the street instead of in a shelter.

San Francisco is a typical city in America these days, especially on the west coast. From San Diego to Seattle, a tent city full of poverty-stricken people was born. As of January 2020, in California alone About 151,000 Residents living a homeless life. There are many contributors to this issue. Childhood trauma and poverty, mental illness, and fear of chronic substance abuse definitely increase the chances of someone living on the street. But Nan Roman, president of the National Alliance for the Eradication of the Homeless, states that the main cause of the crisis is simple.

The data boosts her. years ago, Zillow Economist Team We have found that homeless people begin to surge rapidly when cities exceed the threshold at which a typical resident must spend more than one-third of their income on housing. If income does not keep up with the cost of rent, the cascading effect will spill over into the housing market. High-income earners begin to rent places that middle-income earners once rented, and middle-income earners begin to rent places that low-income earners once rented. Once rented, low-income earners are upset.

“It’s like a musical chairs game,” says Roman. “And those who strike against them because they have a mental illness, substance abuse disorder, or disability are least likely to sit in that chair.”

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Homeless Was not always This is bad. “In the 1970s, all low-income households in need of housing were well-stocked with affordable housing. There really wasn’t a homeless person,” says Roman.

By the 1980s, the homeless had emerged as a chronic problem. There were many factors, including a federal decision. Cut the budget For affordable homes. By then, the California government has cut taxes significantly and A fundamental social programThousands of people with mental illness and other difficulties, including state-funded mental hospitals, struggle to treat themselves.

However, the main cause of the crisis is concentrated in the supply and demand of housing.Areas like the San Francisco Bay Area have become attractive areas for high-paying professionals in a computer-driven economy, but have failed to build enough new units to keep up with demand. 2016 survey According to the McKinsey Global Institute, California will need 3.5 million new housing units by 2025 to address chronic housing shortages. only Be late Since then, Governor Gavin Newsom Campaign promise Lead the effort to produce those 3.5 million units. Even before the pandemic caused havoc in the construction business, California was only building about 100,000 new homes a year, well below the minimum of 180,000 a year. Analysts say The country is in desperate need.

As Conor Dougherty records in his bright new book, Golden GateThe politics of building new homes in California is in turmoil. Homeowners say that new skyscrapers have devastated the neighborhood Hurt the value of the house.. Existing lessee The development of horror will cause further luxury and drive them out.Zoning and various Rules Makes it difficult to build a new home.

Many supporters say California needs some new rent management program, but the city of San Francisco passed the Rent Management Act in 1994. The 1994 law does not apply to new construction. As a result, many San Francisco landowners convinced them to withdraw their rental property from the market by selling their units as condominiums or building new ones with bulldozers. Survey results What the Rental Management Act has brought 25% decrease In the supply of rentals in the city during a period of surge in demand.

All of this results in very high rent and real estate prices. The stagnation of wages for a huge number of low-income jobs combined with the lack of political willingness to spend heavily on subsidized housing has doubled many people to live with their parents and move to the city. The reason is easy to understand. The increasingly expensive suburbs, and the streets are pushed out.

Fast-growing cities in other states have undoubtedly done a better job than San Francisco and Los Angeles by providing bandages, at least for erupting wounds. For example, New York City has “shelter rights,” people say. There is a vast shelter system to sleep indoors every night.New York rate A homeless person who is similar to science fiction and LA but has a different personality. As of January 2020 72% Many homeless people in California were stuck. Compare it to New York. Only 5% Not protected. As a result, the homeless problem is still less serious, but it’s a less noticeable city. The warm climate of the West Coast may change the way people think about the cruelty of allowing them to sleep outdoors, but New York has a “right to evacuate.” 1979 court ruling It interpreted the State Constitution and gave New Yorkers this right.

Instead of building a large system of shelters, California cities are taking an inadequate approach than adopted by sociologists at the University of California, San Diego. Called by Neil Gong “Tolerant Containment” — Basically, drive homeless people into specific barren areas like Tenderloin in San Francisco or Skid Row in Los Angeles and selectively prosecute them in street life. Gong takes this approach. Is called “Frankenstein’s monster created by linking civil libertarianism with tight finances.”

Tristia Bauman, senior lawyer at the National Homeless Law Center, said California cities have historically forcibly removed camps and penalized people for homelessness, just like any other city. I am. However, in 2018, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals banned the city from punishing those sleeping outdoors in the absence of access to indoor shelters and long-term housing due to the cruel and extraordinary penalties of the Eighth Amendment. I have determined that there is.In response to that ruling CDC Guidance Advised to increase tolerance during the pandemic, Some people say Homeless camps are increasingly allowed in West Coast cities that do not have adequate shelter facilities.

Last year, all political Californians ranked the homeless as follows: The biggest single problem They wanted the country to work on it. Political background, legal intervention, Biden administration offers billions of dollars California politicians are finally trying to do big things to help people who don’t have homes and whose homes are unstable.

Recently announced by Governor Gavin Newsom $ 12 billion plan We promise to “provide housing for 65,000 people, provide stable housing for more than 300,000 people, and build 46,000 new homes.” This initiative is Programs implemented during the pandemic A hotel or other building converted into a home for non-residential people. San Francisco Mayor London Breed said: City Voting Initiative Taxes large corporations, allows their money to be used to help the homeless, and wants the city to spend Over 1 billion About the problem for the next two years.

We hope that these programs will be of great help in solving the problem. But unless California addresses the root cause — Chronic shortage Affordable housing and Continuous failure The state seems destined to confront obscene levels of homelessness in order to significantly increase new construction.

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Squaler Behind the Golden Gate: Confronting the California Homeless Crisis

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