Disasters Will Affect Affordable Housing More

David Trammel's picture

We are already seeing the effect that an health crisis can have on the economy. The actions by the government and business during the Pandemic had a lot of affects beyond just health care, like the issue with people being unable to pay their rents when their jobs disappear or they can't work due to lockdowns. This will happen again as the Long Descent and the collapse of the global system progresses. It might not be another virus that causes problems, it could be local disasters sparked by climate change, or supply chain issues with critical parts from Wars. Think Taiwan and the fact that so many of the chips we here in the West depend on are made there. When China eventually takes Taiwan back, there will be global consequences.

This article discusses how one side affect of major crisis is that affordable housing is one thing which gets short.

"Natural disasters can wipe out affordable housing for years"

"Middle- and low-income households tend to occupy the riskiest homes in communities for a few key reasons. First, land values tend to be lower in areas that are risky or otherwise less desirable, such as low-lying areas that are known to flood, near toxic facilities, or in outlying areas that fail to enforce codes designed to protect homes. The housing that gets built there tends to be more affordable.

Second, as communities grow, older homes become more affordable through a process called “filtering,” in which wealthier households move into newer housing, leaving older, more dilapidated homes available for lower-income households. Older homes were often built under less stringent building codes and typically are less well maintained, which can make them more physically vulnerable.

Third, durable patterns of historical segregation and ongoing discrimination in real estate and lending can compound these problems by limiting Black and Hispanic families’ ability to afford lower-risk neighborhoods.
Research has shown consistently that lower-income households are not only more likely to suffer damage in a natural disaster but also that they are more likely to take much longer—two to three times longer—to recover."

Yes. That's the pattern seen with both Paradise after the fire, and in New Orleans. Natural disasters can really shred the lower income parts of a community, and when things get built back they sometimes don't get built back at all for the poorest section. You end up with community members getting scattered as they seek out other options while they're waiting.

I sometimes wonder where they end up, but it's not something that is easy to find information on.

and government tends to try to stop that process, because it prefers to be in control.
Can you describe in what situations the natural creation of low income housing is a good vs. bad thing,
and give examples of how gov't interference has improved things, vs. making things worse?

David Trammel's picture

We're already seeing the affect of climate change and sea level rise change where the trendy and pricy property is in Miami.

"Miami Neighborhood Known For Exclusive Condos, Edgewater Also Known For Flooding"

One FB poster who follows rents in that area said this:
"Miami is starting to adapt to the effects of climate change. Not that you can tell from all the people moving there, who claim that climate change "won't be an issue" in their lifetime. Locals know better. I just finished an article on the cheapest neighborhoods for renters in Miami in 2022 for a national website. I have the data on rent in every neighborhood in Miami and the change over last year. From a climate change perspective, and as someone who has lived there, it's interesting.

Take Edgewater. It's now the fifth cheapest neighborhood in the city. When we moved to Miami, you had to make a quarter million to get near this exclusive community. Rents plunged there 13% last year alone. Why? Flooding and saltwater intrusion. These were occasional issues a decade ago, but now they're constant. The same is true of the other "cheap" neighborhoods. I looked at the map of elevation in Miami and the map of the cheapest neighborhoods, and the lower spots are all in the top ten. Many of them are waterfront on Biscayne Bay.

Where are prices rising? In the neighborhoods on higher ground, of course. Places upper-middle-class white Americans wouldn't slum in for the day, like Little Haiti and Liberty City, ten years ago. Long-time residents are being forced out. Smart locals are selling to the newcomers and either moving to higher ground or leaving South Florida entirely -some for the uplands in the state, others for other states."


So the money is already seeing a change in buying habits of those who are in the know. Expect this to only get more and more common. And that those with political power will try and offload their losses onto the taxpayer.