California's record poverty and real-estate bubble are creating a "wheel-estate" boom of people with good jobs living in their cars


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/29/working-maker-poor.html


#2

Brilliant business idea: combine Airbnb and Uber so people “share” their cars with people that need a place to sleep. Another miracle of the sharing and caring economy!


#3

One problem a lot of the homeless encampments (in cars or otherwise) have is that there is a (usually small) percentage of troublemakers who litter, steal, shoot up, pick fights, and otherwise cause trouble for people who are simply down on their luck. Assigning a beat cop to check in frequently on the camps might short circuit a lot of these problems. If they could act as an unofficial ombudsman and mediator, so much the better.

*not necessarily arrest anyone just for being homeless unless they were actually breaking the law.


#4

I’ve retired back to California to be closer to my family. I can’t afford to live in the Bay Area, but not needing a job I was able to afford the foothills around Sonora. My point is that this kind of story distorts what others think about California. I know I had a distorted view of Texas until I moved there.


#5

I know someone who moved to CA as she wanted to live there, and had to move back because she couldn’t afford to live there.

Lucky for her, the company she worked for liked her, and is paying her a CA worthy salary to work from home in the Midwest. I seriously want to get in on that…


#6

I was wondering about a trailer with showers and laundry. If you could get water from a hydrant with one of those meters that landscapers use it might well be at least a break-even public service.


#7

Until they no longer like her…


#8

Sounds familiar. . . .


#9

Or a “disruptive” and extortionate private start-up!
/s
lolsob


#10

Thats the risk for any company. But she’s had the job about a year, and now a mutual friend works for them too. I am closer to him than I was to her, so I am seeing if I can get in on this.


#11

There is https://www.reddit.com/r/vandwellers/ and http://www.cheaprvliving.com and an endless supply of youtube channels like https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_W_E5SFCxwpSOaqMjOOBTg or https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAj7O3LCDbkIR54hAn6Zz7A or https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFuyCsMOEkJ27lHZ-AT9TmA

I’ve been watching this blow up over the last five years or so, and have always kept an eye on the possibility of building out my own van and taking the leap. I pay $2000 a month for a closet where I live, so it’s not that far fetched.


#12

Several organizations provide services like this. Being able to get rid of the funk every so often is a good step towards restoring dignity.


#13

There’s a whole subreddit devoted to these folks…

A whole entire subreddit? Well that proves this is a major, noteworthy social movement. You have to be important to get your very own subreddit!


#14

Slightly off topic…

We just closed on our retirement home in [$135k] Joshua Tree, Ca, 1000 sq ft, 1/2 acre, and I can’t wait to get the fudge out of the City life.


#15

I love city life, but to each his own. More importantly, congratulations on finding a home in such a lovely area. It sounds like the perfect size for two people.


#16

Thanks very much!


#17

The topics in that subreddit, while filled with good tips, are a litany of grimness: worries about surviving the winter, bandits, basic hygiene, cooking hot meals, access to the Internet, etc. Yes, indeed, America is Great Again (“again” in this case referring to the Hoover portion of the 1930s).


#18

I always tell people that my city - San Diego - has literally done nothing about the homeless problem here. Guess I was wrong, they let people sleep in their cars…
JFC.
Steve Lopez in the LA Times has done some good articles recently about CA housing that are worth a look -


#19

A ready-made soundtrack.


#20

Thanks. Lopez’s articles keep popping up in my newsfeeds lately. He’s a fine writer and the subject matter really connects to what one observes in SoCal.

For example, Lopez’s column about the feedback loop between rising rents and homeless encampments put into broad focus something I observed myself: the little Hooverville that sprung up a few years ago in a laneway adjacent to a Westside park I like to picnic in when I visit L.A. The precarity in the city is such that working-class and a growing number of middle-class people are a single paycheque, a sudden rent increase, or a week’s illness away from ending up in a tent or car in the middle of some of the most expensive zip codes in the country.

There are effects of these insane real estate prices on wealthier people, too. I’m at an age where a lot of my peers who live in desirable cities would like to invest in local 2-4 unit income properties. No matter where they live all come to the same conclusion after seeing the available stock: anything affordable to them would make them slumlords, so they just give up.