Government is the real problem in dealing with housing issues

January 21st, 2018 by Ken

At last count there were 32 non-profit organizations in Thurston County that deal with homeless issues in some way or another.

Now, the City of Olympia wants to increase its sales tax to raise an estimated $2.3 million dollars a year to add to the monies already being spent to help solve the homelessness problem.   That will tie the city as the highest sales tax in the county, along with the City of Lacey.

With so many organizations working on the issue of homelessness it would seem we should know what the problem is.  Why do we have so many homeless in the county?

Half of the homeless have drug or alcohol issues.  Until we can get a handle on those individual problems, we’ll never be able to find them permanent housing.  They will always need temporary shelter.

The other half of the homeless population are what are call “temporary” homeless.   These are people who are unable to afford the cost of housing through job loss, domestic abuse, family problems and a host of other personal issues.

The question becomes – why is the cost of housing so high?  The answer is government rules and regulations.

Land use regulations have restricted the amount of land available for housing.  Regulations on what the house must contain adds to the cost.   It’s estimated that every new house constructed in Thurston County has an additional cost added to it by government rules and regulations of nearly $40,000.

In addition,  over the past several decades, government has seen the destruction of sub-standard housing units which once housed those with low incomes.

As government rules and regulations impact the employment market with high minimum wage, guaranteed health care and dozens of other workplace requirement, businesses are turning to technology to help lower costs of labor.  This reduces the number of jobs available.

If you want to know the real culprits in our current homeless problem, just point the finger at government.


Posted in Business, Government, Local Politics, The Real News

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