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Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
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Thanks to Robert Stacey McCain, I found this gem from Breitbart:

Tom Steyer: I Will ‘Force’ Towns to Accept New Housing Units

By Kyle Morris | November 20, 2019

Democrat presidential hopeful Tom Steyer claimed he would “force” American towns to accept new, affordable housing in certain areas while speaking at the Democrat presidential primary debate held in Atlanta, Georgia, at Tyler Perry Studios on Wednesday.

Steyer’s remarks came as he was asked about affordable housing, particularly in his home state of California, which includes Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“When you look at inequality in the United States of America, you have to start with housing,” Steyer claimed. “Where you put your head at night determines so many things about your life. It determines where your kids go to school, it determines the air you breathe, where you shop, how long it takes you to get to work.”

“What we’ve seen in California is as a result of policy,” Steyer continued. “We have millions too few housing units and that effects everybody in California. It starts with a homeless crisis that goes all through the state, but it also includes skyrocketing rents that effect every single working person in the state of California.”

There’s more at the original. The Los Angeles Times has more about what the Democrats’ cavalcade of clowns said concerning affordable housing during last night’s debate.

Have you ever watched the HGTV show “Flip or Flop“? It’s an (un)reality series in which the hosts have bought distressed residences in California and renovated them, trying to make a profit. In the Pyrite State, even these distressed homes (apparently) bring a few hundred thousand dollars for three-bedroom, two-bath units of 1,300 ft² on relatively small lots. How would Mr Steyer, or the other Democrats, force builders to build “affordable” houses in that kind of market? Even with builders’ grade finishes, rather than the high-end stuff Tarek and Christina use, you are looking at new units costing $300,000 to $400,000.

For comparison, a new listing appeared on zillow.com for 1331 North Ferndale Street, in Anaheim, California. It’s been nicely upgraded, but it is still just a four-bedroom, two-bath home, 1,305 ft² on a cramped, 6446 ft² lot, and it’s listed for $629,000. Zillow estimates that the home, built in 1954, is overpriced, but still has its own estimate of $563,128, over half a million dollars!

And for a mere $349,950, you can buy the house in which I lived from birth through the second grade, at 2305 Beasley Avenue, Antioch, California! Three bedrooms, one bath, 1,174 ft² on a 6,098 ft² lot, the realtor’s description states that it “Needs some general TLC and love. Needs landscaping front and rear.” I recognize the kitchen cabinets as original, even though I haven’t seen that house since I was seven years old, in 1960. The photos show an exterior which needs paint on the wooden areas — most of the exterior is stucco — and what I believe is the original, 1953, garage door.

Antioch is considered a suburb of Oakland, but it’s still a 50 minute commute to Oakland.

Zillow estimates the mortgage at $1,675 per month, including:

  • A 20% down payment of $69,990
  • Principal and interest of $1,293 at a 3.725% interest rate
  • Escrow for property taxes of $260 per month
  • Escrow for insurance of $122 per month

With even homes needing “TLC” in the $350,000 range, in a city which isn’t really the best, just how does Mr Steyer plan to build “affordable” housing?

In an article on how the mortgage crash of the late 2000s changed the rules for first-time home buyers, the New York Times reported:

If you’re determined to be truly conservative, don’t spend more than about 35 percent of your pretax income on mortgage, property tax, and home insurance payments. Bank of America, which adheres to the guidelines that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac set, will let your total debt (including student and other loans) hit 45 percent of your pretax income, but no more.

Let’s remember that even in the post-crisis lending world, mortgage lenders want to approve creditworthy borrowers for the largest mortgage possible. I wouldn’t call 35 percent of your pretax income on mortgage, property tax, and home insurance payments “conservative.” I’d call it average.

If you adhere to the 35% rule for PITI, to buy my parents’ old house, you need a pretax income of $4,785.71 per month, or $57,428.57 a year. For a full time hourly worker, that works out to $27.61 per hour; the current minimum wage in the Pyrite State is $12.00. The median household income in Antioch is $69,925, enough to afford the house, but Antioch is a city with a high crime rate: you might not want to live there.

Mr Steyer would “force” towns to accept building affordable housing, but what he is saying is that he intends to lower property values for current homeowners. The value of your house is directly affected by the value of your neighbors’ houses. It doesn’t matter how nice your home is, if your neighbors’ homes aren’t as nice, it brings down the value of yours. He noted that some “localities and municipalities . . . have worked very hard to ensure that there are no new housing units built in their towns.” The reason for that is simple: it protects the value of the existing homes. But Mr Steyer would use the power of the federal government to depress people’s home values.

I have already noted that even in good, very liberal New York City, people have very conservative considerations when it comes to selecting their homes. Are the left really ready to turn over their neighborhood decisions to Washington?

The left seem to think that people’s independent economic choices ought to be subject to the political will of whomever controls the White House. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have already proposed health care plans which would cost several years worth of our Gross Domestic Product along with plans to fight global warming climate change which would do the same. And now we have cavalcade denizens telling us that they are going to manage where we live and who our neighbors can be? Not just no, but Hell no!
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