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Dispossessed in the Land of Dreams

Stashed in: Silicon Valley!, @troutgirl, @ifindkarma, Stories, Palo Alto, Poverty, Homeless, Housing, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, @kimmaicutler, Bay Area Housing

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This hits close to home: Panda lived for 15 years within a block of Cubberley before being priced out this winter, and I live in Sunnyvale which is the only place I know of in the Bay Area even trying to build new affordable housing en masse. We are also the location of the north Santa Clara County winter homeless shelter.

One of the eye-openers in this sensitively-written article is exactly how unrealistic it is to expect the elderly and poor to move to a lower-cost area -- even though from the outside it makes all the sense in the world for them to do so. Old poor sick people's worlds get very small. It might be as much as they can do to learn how to navigate the social agencies of their lifelong hometowns, and a big shock to be forced to move to a town less than 10 miles away. How are they supposed to investigate potential new locations when they don't use the internet? How are they supposed to scrape together the money to move cross-country and rent a new apartment? If one of them is very sick, how are they supposed to transfer healthcare? All things considered, I'm not sure it isn't a rational decision to hunker down where you know how things work and can get help even though the cost of living is high.

How horrible to be faced with this late in life :(

The whole Bay area is so built out I think they need to build up, and I think earthquake safe construction has come a long way.  The only other fear of building more housing would be decreasing the value of existing housing, but they could just do it a little at a time, and building low income housing is probably not going to have much effect on the real estate market, especially considering that many are not even in housing!

Most people who already own their houses in the Bay Area don't want more houses built.

They don't want the noise. They don't want the traffic.

And they don't want increased supply putting downward pressure on housing prices.

What saddens me about the story Joyce stashed is how close most of us are to becoming those old sick people who cannot get help because of fear and because of how complicated the whole housing situation is in the Bay Area. The story resonates. It resonates sadly. 

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