Hurricanes, floods, fires, blazing heat and rain, the wretched weather has caused climate change deniers especially, much consternation. As to the possible explanation……. when hundreds of thousands of homeless people start appearing in our streets next January, it’ll be easy to explain. We let it happen, in the 2018 federal budget.
I know, Trump and the Democrats came to a deal. But don’t let the brouhaha about a glimpse of humanity distract you. The September 8 deal delayed the show-down but it didn’t make what we’re facing ago away, regardless of the smarmy celebrations in the media.
Take homelessness. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a report this August showing that 8.3 million very low income households in America were spending more than half of their income on housing, many living in massively substandard places.
That number is up by 41% since 2007 and by 66% since 2001. You can’t blame that on Harvey or Irma or Jose. Even before the hurricanes, this country was experiencing an affordable housing crisis of unprecedented proportions.
Just when we need more, Trump’s plan would have slashed what HUD spends to keep people in their homes and wiped out entirely the Community Development Block Grant Program that pays for everything from homeless shelters to day care centers and public housing.
Austerity budgets have already done their worst. What would public housing residents say about yet more cuts to maintenance and repairs? They’ll let us know when they get out of their broken-down elevators.…….
And a note on hypocrisy – the very same real estate developer whose father grew rich off federal housing subsidies now wants to kick that out from under anyone else, permanently.
Family values – he’d have eliminated the program that keeps homeless parents and their kids together. And those Veterans he claims to love? I wasn’t surprised to see he’d eliminated farm labor housing help, but Veterans housing vouchers? Also gone. It’d be worth bringing to the attention of all the veterans that voted for him. If they’re not homeless.
The good news is, the House and Senate bills all pulled back from the brink, a bit. But we’re still seeing cuts, not growth, and just at a time that innovative cities were making real strides in keeping people out of homelessness.
The point is, all those who professed compassion for those made homeless by big storms, need to be called to account – what kind of human are you?…….You can see my interview with Rebel Cities author, David Harvey, this week on the Laura Flanders Show, on Free Speech TV, KCET Link TV and online at LauraFlanders.com. And sign up to join our mailing list at that same website.