Housing Justice

     Whenever an ardent Leftist Progressive qualifies the word “justice”, they don’t actually mean justice and rarely actually care about the qualifier beyond the excuse to target someone over something.

     Such as is the case in the call of “housing justice”. The excuse is the “housing crisis” caused by that paragon of progressive preposterousness: California, which is—unsurprisingly—mostly trying to make things worse.

     One must remember that to the Progressive Left, “rights” only mean the “right” to do or be good, as they define it, and such protections do not apply to the designated villain.

     But sometimes even that isn’t enough, certainly in the case of this little rant from the Sightline Institute, and quotes from the “community organizer” sounding “Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment .”

“The report and ACCE’s accompanying campaign emphasize the horrifying fact that Los Angeles in particular has more “non-market vacant” units than there are Angelenos experiencing homelessness on any given night.

“ACCE is pushing for new taxes on long-term vacant homes, partly inspired by the one in Vancouver, BC. If a city has a high number of mostly-vacant ‘investment’ properties, it’s a reasonable proposal.

“But there’s an even bigger injustice this report overlooked, as do most of the similar exercises about empty apartments that circulate now and then.

“It’s true that for 2013-2017, the Census estimates 691,343 totally empty homes in California, including plenty in condo buildings, that ACCE categorizes as ‘off-market’ because they’re either ‘for seasonal, recreational or occasional use’ or otherwise unavailable to rent or buy. This is, disturbingly, more than five times the estimated 129,972 homeless Californians.

“It is equally true that even if every adult and every child in one of California’s owner-occupied homes required a bedroom of their own, the state would have 2,660,505 bedrooms where no one sleeps—20 unoccupied bedrooms for every homeless Californian.


“Not only is California failing to disincentivize this second, larger injustice. In this case, it’s actually subsidizing the injustice with hundreds of millions of dollars every year in the form of California’s cap on property taxes for longtime property owners, which swells the price of housing for anyone not lucky enough to already own.”

     The author is insinuating that because some people have a spare bedroom, it is somehow unjust because a homeless person isn’t using it. Though the author isn’t demanding seizure of empty guestrooms for redistribution (at least not openly), but is demanding the state punish those who a second home, investment property not occupied, and other wise inflict “structural changes” such as:

“In addition to continuing to raise and spend money for below-income housing, we should do things like re-legalizing shared homes, lifting the apartment bans in low-density, job-rich enclaves of San Jose, subverting speculation with community land trusts and reforming California’s monumentally terrible property tax system that systematically transfers wealth from young to old, migrant to incumbent, brown to white. All these things would lower the costs of finding a stable home in California.”

     This will only make things worse. By driving out, increasingly, the middle class, all California will eventually be left with poor neo-feudal serfs and their super-rich overlords, who can then vote to redistribute property that makes the French Revolution’s stealing of church property seem like amateur hour.

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