Oakland to expand managed homeless shantytowns of prefab sheds

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/09/17/tuff-sheds.html


Christmas comes early, and that’s a good thing.

Now lets get that done in every major city in the USA, STAT!


What do you suggest might be done?

I personally haven’t got a better idea that can be accomplished within the existing framework of law and society.


Leave it neoliberal technocrats* to come up with a clean, tidy, and controlled gated version of a bloody Hooverville that won’t offend the eyes of taxpaying homeowners. Their economic policies since the 2008 crash may have led to an on-going recession for at least 80% of the country but they’ve been equally creative at coming up with “not terrible” ideas like this to distract Americans from the worst of it.

[* including those with the best of intentions]


On some level having a roommate can be a good thing, but considering that homeless people might have mental health issues it could cause more issues. However this is a great start and more compassionate than just leaving them out on the streets while also harassing them for not having a place to hunker down.

I feel like additional programs can be plugged in to this if they aren’t already to give the homeless confidence, a sense of purpose and some income. Stuff like having them rehabilitate and train shelter dogs, urban farming, clean up and art projects, etc.


The gated nature of it, with signing yourself and visitors is really problematic. There might be some legitimate reasons for wanting to do so, but that alone might discourage some people from seeking shelter and it might cause some bad blood from those that decide to put up with it.


Even if you take the potential for bad blood or thievery out of the equation, requiring that you share a 15x8 shed with a random stranger to get basic shelter shows me the planners aren’t putting a high value on human dignity or the basic need for privacy.


A ‘band aid’ solution for a “gaping chest wound” problem.


And why it’s impossible to build public housings?
For instance this is a prefab condo made in Italy, copying US made Mobile homes. Building a shantytown is a waste of public money that will not solve any problem. Building apartmentsd will lower the price bubble.


Provide normal housing, as opposed to quasi-prison-camp housing. Give anyone who needs one an efficiency apartment, no strings attached. Will some people misuse their housing? Absolutely. It’s still obviously the right thing to do.


Its also been scientifically proven several times over that a city will save money if they provide adequate housing to the homeless so why turn around and give them literally the worst accommodations possible?

Even if this was a test program, going so half-assed into it is setting up the program for more failures than successes.


Regulation on housing and decent housing for the homeless. It’s not that hard.


Especially in the Bay area, with all the empty property all over the place; just sitting vacant and going to seed, because hardly anyone can afford the asking price.


Although I agree with you about the obviousness, I do not think this can be accomplished in the existing framework of law and society.

It seems very hard to me. I cannot do it, although I would like to.

And it’s difficult to find allies when it comes down to the sweating and bleeding. I can and do work with Habitat, because they don’t care what my ideology is as long as I am helping, but there aren’t enough Habitat workers to solve this problem. We can’t build as fast as they are needed.

I know, right? The situation isn’t as dire down here, but there are plenty of empty apartments that people are starting to not be able to afford, so why not have the city take some of them over and give housing to people. They also closed one of the largest shelters in the city, and have put up anti-panhandling ordinances down town. Just like in NYC in the 90s, people are being pushed out of the city into the suburbs. They’re not solving the homelessness problem, they are literally making it someone else’s problem.

Cities really need to start regulating housing, because the situation is ridiculous.


Not when Libertarians dominate GOP politics, when the Federalist Society chooses judges, and when ALEC drafts the laws on behalf of the Koch bros., that’s for sure.


That’s why we have… governments, to take on large scale problems like this and try and find workable solutions. Salt Lake City just gave homeless people places to live, no strings attached. It gave homeless people the stability they needed, and in many cases, it helped people get back on track with their lives (get jobs, etc).


Some get pushed farther than the local suburb.


But…but… government agencies can’t do anything right. That’s why the only solution is continually reduce their budgets and shrink them (military and LEOs excepted, natch).


Yep. All they’re doing is making it some one else’s problem, they’re not fixing the underlying problems that cause homelessness. You especially see this during periods of intense gentrification. It’s inhuman.