I saw this doozy earlier in the week and forgot to blog about it until a friend emailed last night, “can you believe it?” Sadly yes, I can believe just about anything when it comes to progressive do-gooders looking to save the world.
Some New Jersey politicians want to buy up foreclosed properties and turn them into “affordable housing.”
Two senior Democrats today outlined a measure to let municipalities and a state corporation buy foreclosed homes and offer them to low- and moderate-income residents in an effort to increase the supply of affordable housing and reduce the number of vacant houses.
Part of the financing would be provided by $75.5 million the state is expected to get from a federal and state settlement over an investigation into allegedly abusive foreclosure practices by the nation’s largest mortgage providers.
One boondoggle begets another! The river of money flowing out of Obama’s bogus mortgage fraud shakedown is too tempting a gravy train, now isn’t it. These guys can’t wait to spend it!
Under the proposal, municipalities where the houses are situated would have 45 days to decide whether to buy the houses through the state’s $268 million affordable housing trust fund. If they did, they would get a two-for-one credit against their affordable housing obligations.
If municipalities decided not to buy the vacant homes, the corporation would be able to purchase them through federal and state financing sources and deed restrict them as affordable housing for three decades.
So either way the government becomes the landlord? There’s no private option? No chance for someone with an incentive to invest in housing stock to get on board? You can’t secure a mortgage in 45 days. Not in this economy. So here comes the state, buying up random foreclosed properties willy-nilly, and turning them into slums.
What’s their incentive to perform routine maintenance? Where’s the money for that? (I know, another shakedown tax on the private homeowners!) Because you’re not gonna catch the renters fixing the roof or mowing the lawn. Not most of ‘em anyway.
How many times does history have to repeat itself? When the state gets into the landlord business, it fails. Government housing attracts crime, drug use, vermin, and lowlifes of every stripe. It inevitably falls into decay, and brings down the entire neighborhood with it. Just visit any inner city housing project and tell me I’m wrong.
Government meddling in the housing market (Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act) got us into this mess in the first place. We don’t need any more “help” from the government. What we need is an economic recovery strong enough to attract private investment by people who can actually afford the properties they’re buying.
But there’s “buying” going on here alright, vote buying. Nobody’s gonna vote against his landlord, not when the landlord is giving him a sweet deal paid for by somebody else. Food stamps. Welfare. Social Security. Public schools. Obamacare. And now a free house. When the government starts passing out socks and underwear only a schmuck would head out to look for a job. Which is pretty much where we’re at now, seeing as how the labor force participation rate keeps dropping like a rock.
They should rename this country The United Moochers of America. Because that’s what we’ve become.