Corbyn Pledges to Immediately Buy Homes for the Homeless

Mish

The UK election campaign is underway. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn threw out the first pitch.

Please consider Labour Would 'Immediately' Buy Homes to House Rough Sleepers.

Speaking at a campaign event in Milton Keynes, Corbyn called the level of homelessness in the UK a “disgrace and insult to our country”, and promised a Labour government would end austerity.

"On our first day in office, we will immediately buy all the properties necessary to house the rough sleepers," said Corbyn.

Politically Correct Term

Let's not call them homeless, let's call them "rough sleepers".

A Wikipedia article on Homelessness in England used the word rough 22 time and homeless 127 times.

Numbers

​The Big Issue asks How Many People are Homeless in the UK?

Rough sleepers are just the visible tip of the iceberg when it comes to registering and understanding the homelessness crisis. At the end of December last year 78,930 households were in temporary accommodation, which basically means people or families are put into shelters, hostels, B&Bs, refuges or other social housing but do not have a secure, permanent home.

An estimated 320,000 people are homeless in the UK, according to research by Shelter – that is one in every 201 Brits and an increase of four per cent on last year’s number.

Sure Fire Non-Solution

The sure fire non-solution to the problem is to offer free homes and free food to the homeless.

Many of those on the edge, barely able to afford rent would be more than pleased to have a "free" home and food.

San Francisco Example

On November 18, 2018, I reported San Francisco Forces Large Corporations to Pay "Homeless Tax".

The overall homeless population in San Francisco has fallen from 8,640 in 2004 to 7,499 in 2017. Yes, but at enormous expense. Since 2004, San Francisco has doubled the money it spends on homelessness, to more than $300 million.

And the result feels worse. Why?

  • Tents:The proliferation of tents all over the city, in places where before there were mostly just blankets and tarp lean-tos, has been perhaps the biggest driver. The Occupy protest movement that flared in 2011 and died out in 2012 infused hundreds of tents onto the streets, and kindhearted residents followed by raising donations to buy even more.
  • Gentrification:As the city’s tech-driven economy exploded, traditional homeless hangouts in places like central SoMa or around the Transbay Terminal were revitalized. Unable to blend in so easily, the homeless migrated elsewhere, causing fresh alarm to those unused to seeing camps.
  • Panhandlers: As many as 50 percent of them, by some estimates, are formerly homeless people who now live inside but are so dysfunctional they revert to the one moneymaking technique they’ve always known. They look homeless, but they’re not.

Seattle Reverses Idiotic Tax on Corporations to Support Homeless

On June 12, 2018 I noted Under Pressure, Seattle Reverses Idiotic Tax on Corporations to Support Homeless

Seattle spent $68 million on homelessness last year and plans to spend even more this year, not counting the tax that would have raised roughly $48 million annually.

But a one-night count in January found more than 12,000 homeless people in the Seattle and surrounding region, a 4 percent increase from the previous year.

If you want more of something, you subsidize it. A tax on corporations to shelter the homeless is guaranteed to do one thing, increase the number of homeless moving in to take advantage.

Nonetheless, on May 14, in an idiotic move, the Seattle city council put a head tax on corporations. Today, the city reversed course.

Seattle spent $68 million finding homes for 3,400 homeless people. A 2018 Count puts the number of homeless at 8,600 and rising.

Guarantee homes, and tens of thousands of people will move in.

The city reluctantly reconsidered when Amazon threatened to move, taking its tax payments with it.

Expect Problems to Rise

If you want more of something, subsidize it. Reported homelessness is down slightly, but tents are up, panhandlers are up, and problems are up.

Throw enough money at the problem and people will move in from all over the county.

San Francisco is begging for more problems, and it will get them.

Corbyn will do the same for the UK.

Crunching the Numbers

Seattle spent $68 million finding homes for 3,400 homeless people.

That's a cost of $20,000 per person.

Approximately 320,000 people are homeless in the UK.

320,000 * $20,000 = $6,400,000,000

Corbyn's proposal would initially cost about $6.4 billion. But it would not stop there.

Immediately buying all the properties needed to shelter 320,000 people would drive up the price of rent, forcing more people on the street.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (16)
No. 1-10
Carl_R
Carl_R

Re: "If you want more of something, subsidize it. " The converse is also true. If you want less of something, tax it. If you increase taxes enough, people (and businesses) leave.

abend237-04
abend237-04

Hmmm I'm not homeless yet, but I can be had. SFO is paying $17/hr. for homeless, assuming $300 million for 8,640 homeless. For $15, I'll promise not to come.

Tengen
Tengen

Proposals like this are crazy, but I enjoy them if it gets people thinking about the free money bankers get, or our overall deficits. Free housing for everyone is a nutty idea, but so is racking up trillions in debt, financing "forever wars" that aren't meant to be won, etc.

Maybe we should treat everyone like bankers!

Webej
Webej

Not all the homeless sleep rough.

The problem is that not housing them also incurs considerable costs. The costs of sending police to keep them out of certain areas; the cost of social workers; court costs for mountains of unpaid citations; costs of jailing them for a while every now and again in connection with unpaid citations (they often welcome brief stays inside); medical costs when social services or jails come in contact; costs to areas where nobody want to be any more; crime if only desperate actions allow further survival.

Many would be less of a burden on society and could subsist on benefits, but then they need a registered home address, which many cannot manage.

Of course, you could just let them freeze to death, but the attrition rate would be relatively small, and there would be humanitarian outrage about another frozen completely psychotic person off his meds and off his rocker.

It's not such an easy thing to solve for municipalities, especially for the large proportion that are habituated and/or mental patients. In China they probably deal with this more effectively.

Harry-Ireland
Harry-Ireland

"On our first day in office, we will immediately buy all the properties necessary to house the rough sleepers" Yeah. All the properties. On the first day in office. All 320.000 of them. While you're at it, buy 700.000 more, since you're going to allow 300.000 to come in and the other 400.000 you'll need to house all the people who live in poverty and can't afford their rents or a mortgage because of your policies.

Anda
Anda

If it were not for brexit, this would be what elections were fought over - homelessness, a myriad of similar themes regarding the running of the country. That would bring government policy back to UK, that would bring into question socialism for capitalists (crony capitalism), migrant costs and displacement of british, and so on. This is why politicians are win win with EU and brexit, it distracts from their own responsibilities and hides their mistakes. Not surprised it has dragged on for so long, they have no easy way out. The only positive is if brexit goes through they have four years to put house in order before being shunned, but I doubt that will be put to good use either as voters don't go for those who set them to clean the dishes for the party had over the last decades.

Quatloo
Quatloo

Great post Mish

wootendw
wootendw

If they're single, just buy them a car to sleep in. If it runs, they can move to greener pastures (if they can afford the petrol). Cars nowadays are more comfortable to sleep in. When I was briefly homeless during the early '70s, I had to sleep in my '62 Valiant.

spamgetter
spamgetter

I saw an innovate solution on a recent trip to China - make them work! One can be homeless in China as long as one works on roads, picking up trash etc. The Army had also set up large tents under the highway for them to sleep in.

FromBrussels
FromBrussels

yeah sure socialists..... where Is the imaginary and intrinsically worthless money gonna come from to live up to unsustainable promises?.....mewonders


Global Economics

FEATURED
COMMUNITY