How the local government in Las Vegas deals with the worst housing crisis in the United States

Here's a photo of a back-hoe and the rubble of a demolished building. That's what the government calls...

Neighborhood stabilization.

  1. First, destroy existing housing. Stick your hands in workers’ pockets and take about $42,000,000 out. ($39,537,838 here, $2,000,000 there, and soon you’re talking about real money.) Pocket $2,842,399 of the money for Administration and Planning Costs. Then take $3,000,000 of the money you tok and use it to bulldoze 252 existing homes in North Las Vegas, to be replaced with non-residential development and a 50-unit old folks’ home. Use another $2,000,000+ to demolish another 76 families’ homes. Use another $75,000 to demolish 3 more houses in eligible targeted [sic!] communities.

  2. Next, artificially force up the cost of housing. After forcing about 300 families out of their homes, then take another $24,148,447 of the money and use it to buy up foreclosed or abandoned houses and apartments at artificially high prices, thus forcing squatters out into the street and making it more expensive for people to find new housing. (This artificially expensive housing will of course be rehabilitated according to the usual close enough for government work standards.) While you’re at it, inflict exorbitant $500/day fines in order to force the title-holders on foreclosed properties to maintain unused property according to completely arbitrary standards imposed by the city government, rather than simply lowering the price or abandoning the property. These fines are inflicted with the explicit purpose of making it more expensive for people to find new housing. None of these policies will do anything at all to keep a single Vegas valley resident from losing her home, but they will make it much more expensive for anyone who has lost her home to find a new one.

  3. Call this aggressively stupid policy — a response to a housing crisis that consists of a five-year package of destroying existing housing, inflating housing prices through government subsidies, and using those government subsidies to keep squatters homeless and to keep working poor families captive to politically subsidized slum-lords or mortgage usurers in order to get access to the housing which the government keeps artificially expensive — call it, I say, neighborhood stabilization (since that sounds better than socioeconomic cleansing or government gentrification) and then clap yourself on the back for how you’re helping people find homes.

  4. Celebrate your successful state-capitalist screwjob by digging several million dollars more out of workers’ pockets to build a multimillion dollar new city hall complex.

See also:

7 replies to How the local government in Las Vegas deals with the worst housing crisis in the United States Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. "Nick Manley" - The Curious "Deviant"

    For once, I am glad to be a poor student. No house foreclosure for me! Although, the situation still immensely troubles me — not enough to derail my self-confidence and determination to be economically independent though.

  2. "Nick Manley" - The Curious "Deviant"

    As Arthur Silber said: no one in the U.S. government really knows what the fuck they are doing.

    Much to our detriment…

  3. Mike Gogulski

    Further evidence that, although macroeconomics is an interesting field of inquiry, its practice in the real world ought to be regarded as criminal.

— 2009 —

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2009-02-19 – How local government in Las Vegs and Clark County deals with the worst joblessness crisis in a generation:

    […] GT 2008-11-24: How the local government in Las Vegas deals with the worst housing crisis in the Unit… […]

  2. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2009-04-11 – In twenty words or fewer: Comparative Politics edition:

    […] GT 2008-11-24: How the local government in Las Vegas deals with the worst housing crisis in the Unit… […]

  3. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2009-06-17 – Wednesday Lazy Linking:

    […] it has become necessary to destroy U.S. cities in order to save them. (Via Nick Manley. Cf. also GT 2008-11-24: How the local government in Las Vegas deals with the worst housing crisis in the Unit….) Anyone who’s seen Roger and Me ought to know that when the Feds start taking advice on […]

— 2011 —

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2011-01-25 – Housing and Urban Development:

    […] GT 2008-11-24: How the local government in Las Vegas deals with the worst housing crisis in the Unit… […]

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