Affordable Home Shortage in Idaho
Hey, Dave Edwards, Treasure Valley Dave here in Nampa, Idaho. I was going through my emails again when I came across this story. I want to discuss it with you, see what you think, and let you know what I think. Although there is a general housing shortage in the US, “Idaho renters face a bigger shortage of affordable homes, national housing report shows.”
Fewer Housing Options for Low-Income Renters
So, Idaho has 38 affordable rental homes for every 100 households with meager incomes. It means that low-income renters in Idaho have fewer affordable housing options than in previous years.
According to this report, “38 affordable rental homes for every hundred households with extremely low income, and that’s a decrease from last year where there were 42 affordable rental homes for every 100 households, and there were 40 in 2021.”
The report includes data from all 50 states, and meager income is apparently identified as someone who earns at or below the federal poverty level or 30% of their area median income.
Diving Deeper into the Rental Situation
Then they talk about the possible impact of COVID. And according to the research, “There are approximately 40,000 extremely low-income renter households in Idaho, but only about 15,000 affordable rental homes are available.”
Let’s stop there for a second. This article talks about all of Idaho, not just the Treasure Valley. And as you probably know, buying real estate in the Treasure Valley, particularly in Boise, Meridian, or Nampa, is not as cheap as it used to be. Although the further you get from Boise, the more inexpensive things get.
Where Are the Affordable Homes in Idaho?
There are 44 counties in Idaho, so you could buy a house for $50,000 in some counties with low living cost. And your rent up there could be like $400. We don’t know because the report doesn’t break it down to just Treasure Valley, so keep that in mind.
“Families and children thrive when they live in affordable homes, but too many Idaho families don’t have that option right now due to high rents and an insufficient supply of affordable and available houses statewide.”
If a house isn’t affordable, you won’t thrive.
What Is an Affordable Home?
According to an organization that helps low-income people find rental houses, “A home is considered affordable when a family spends no more than 30% of their income on rent.” Dang, it sounds like Dave Ramsey is talking right there.
This report shows that 66% of Idaho’s extremely low-income renter families face severe rent burdens. That’s probably true.
So we’ve identified a problem: people need to make more to rent where they want.
How to Resolve the Idaho Renters' Housing Problem
One option is for the federal government to step in and provide millions of dollars. Idaho residents are in a severe housing crisis that federal funding cannot solve, but they take the money anyway, right? It’s just like a Band-Aid over the problem.
Housing Trust Fund
The building network supports policies that create long-term housing solutions, such as the Housing Trust Fund, which “allocates funds to states to help them preserve and build more affordable homes across their state.”
“Investing in the National Housing Trust Fund will promote the creation and preservation of affordable homes and incentivize Idaho developers to build more affordable homes across our state and ensure all the Idahoans have access to safe and affordable homes,” the press release said.
Moving Might Be the Answer
All right, so there are a couple of issues there. I want everybody to have a nice place to live. Everyone won’t get a palatial mansion when you can’t afford it, so don’t stretch yourself. Move.
I’ve done that before. I couldn’t afford to live someplace, so I moved. But throwing in this Housing Trust Fund, which is probably getting funding backed by different significant organizations like the Gates Foundation or the Soros Foundation, could be a lot of funds from the federal government, which has already been paying money.
Problem with Creating Low-Income Houses
And so if they create these low-income houses, it brings in people who can’t afford anything. They’re the kind of people who sometimes don’t go to work. And there are always exceptions and stuff like that. Still, as we’ve seen historically in downtown Detroit, downtown Chicago, Philadelphia, and other similar places, wherever people don’t go to work, they don’t make much money — at least not taxable money. And then they get to live in these houses where it concentrates an element that can lead to crime. So the innocent people who live there have to suffer through that. So if we’re trying to help low-income people, maybe that’s not the best way.
How Low-Income Housing Affects Builders
Let’s say the state government comes out and says, “You can’t build a house that costs more than X amount of money.” Well, some home builders can’t make that work, and they’ll go out of business and stop building. So there’s going to be a need for more supply.
That means the still available houses will shoot way up in price, and the rental homes will shoot way up in price, value, and rent because of supply and demand. So by trying to help somebody out, we will make their life worse.
And the government will incentivize Idaho developers to build more. That means a builder or developer will not get a permit unless they comply with some bureaucrats. That doesn’t sound good for anybody when it comes to housing.
Living Rent-Free in California During Pandemic
During COVID, I remember Biden saying, “Hey, if you’re a renter, you don’t have to pay rent.” And in California, that went on for two years. Where was the boohoo, then? That didn’t help the situation.
So in California, BlackRock, a huge investment fund, would buy up all these houses. Mom-and-pop landlords got one or two houses and are trying to provide a friendly, safe, clean place for renters. However, they couldn’t make it because the renters didn’t have to pay them for a few years.
Negative Effect of Living Rent-Free on Landlords
Mortgage companies didn’t see it like that, though. They said, “Oh yeah, you still owe us,” so the landlords had to sell the house. That house now goes to BlackRock, so all these rentals are becoming part of this mega for-profit type that doesn’t care about the people. They want their money.
The people who need help get the help they need, but the stuff that gets done hurts them in the long run. Isn’t that just how the government typically works for about anything? We could go all day on that.
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