As much as I would love to rubber stamp the city commission’s Affordable Housing Plan that’s just not going to happen.

Home ownership is not the dream it once was. I am happy to be a free and clear homeowner, but I was just as happy as a renter.

Many people are just as happy renting and dumping all the homeowner responsibilities on someone else.

As long as they have a few extra bucks to hunt, fish or ski, they’re happy.

Of course, as long as there are property taxes, everyone in America pays lot rent.

Creating a Livable Ecosystem

No one can argue that earth’s oceans are composed of a very delicate ecosystem. Introduce an oil spill or other negative outside agent and bad things happen. And they stay bad until the system can repair itself.

A city ecosystem functions in much the same way. If you artificially interfere with the natural flow of markets, bad things will happen.

Building, and all the things that go into it, are interdependent like the oceans ecosystem. A lower cost home will affect the supply and demand for paint, carpet, concrete, wood, etc.

Shouldn’t the local housing market determine what’s affordable rather than five people?

After a little research I found the cheapest house available in San Francisco.

Seven hundred sixty five square feet, built following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Asking price is $350,000. You can see a picture of it here.

Are you ready to move in?

The Affordable Housing Oil Slick

Affordable to whom? Affordable with a roommate? Affordable with two or three jobs? Does the price of the home determine how affordable it is or the income of the occupants?

I think we are talking more about debt service than home ownership. Just because you can make the house payments one day doesn’t mean you’ll be able to the next.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet could afford to live anywhere. I could afford to live anywhere if my income was high enough.

If the median income in Bozeman falls won’t housing prices also fall? It’s not purchase price that determines the value.

As I remember houses became much more affordable around 2008-09.

It’s a matter of can I, with current resources, afford to live there? If I can’t then what’s the point?

Even if it’s affordable to some it might not be affordable to me. Isn’t that a sort of reverse discrimination?

I still have to be wealthy enough to afford the lowest price affordable home as dictated by the city commission.

I’m going to have to prove I’m wealthier than others in order to qualify.

Some Final Thoughts

What if the commission wanted to dictate the price of a shirt on store shelves? You must manufacture some shirts for this price because it’s the right thing to do.

We want everyone to have a shirt. Long sleeves would probably be dependent on a shirt impact fee.

We would all freak and scream price fixing. We all know how well that worked for Nixon.

Put them in the window and watch the homeless pass by saying, “If I were only wealthy.”

God made it cheaper to live in Livingston, Three Forks, Belgrade and Manhattan for a reason.

We all want the American dream, but is that dream worth having at someone else’s expense?

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