HOUSING IS A VERB
  last edited: Wed, 29 Nov 2017 17:08:59 -0800  
THE MORNING NEWS FROM SEATTLE :   Seattle Spends $1 Million On Fences That Keep Homeless Out of Orphaned Spaces Beneath Freeways: The spaces orphaned by highways have always been ugly and hard to manage. Weeds grow there. The sun don't shine there. People rejected by society sometimes find refuge there. Seattle has, according to the Seattle Times, spent a lot of money ($1 million) keeping these rejected people from these troublesome spaces.
But one might ask: Why not spend that huge sum of money on just helping the homeless? But that question is the same as this one: Why don't we build schools instead of prisons?
The problems of crime and homelessness can, of course, be solved very easily. The welfare of humans is not rocket science.
The better question to ask is: Why do we need homeless people? In fact, they are so needed that a city like ours is willing to pay lots of money to make their lives as miserable as possible.

I think the answer is found in the ideology of American individualism. Because it justifies obscene concentrations of wealth, it must also justify obscene amounts of poverty. You are homeless because of choices you yourself made. If it wasn't a choice, then you would not be so smelly, so desperate, so awful-looking. You would do something about it. You are on the street because you are doing nothing about it. The rich are rich because they always make the best choices. And so on, and so on
(Seattle Declared a Homelessness State of Emergency in 2015)
HOUSING IS A VERB
  last edited: Sun, 22 Oct 2017 20:37:31 -0700  
While in Oxnard recently I found a book about a bohemian community that set itself up on 50 acres in Santa Barbara in the sixties.  One of the  founders found himself with a housboat but had no water to float it on. So he made his own lake by making a bowl in the earth using a bulldozer to do the digging. His name was Bobby  Hyde.   Bobby was a man with an extraordinary dream … to create a Utopia where like-minded individuals could come together to live simply, in harmony with the natural world, using only the materials they had around them –  earth, wood, stone and water. He sold the land an acre at a time for $2,000 a plot.  A down payment of $50 followed by monthly instalments of $50 plus 2% interest would get you a level plot, an access road, a water supply and advice and help from Bobby – but he would only sell to you if he liked you and felt you would fit in.
There was no building code in Montecito (the jurisdiction  governing the land) until 1954, so the houses that the Mountain Drivers built for themselves – mostly from adobe – were unique, eclectic and highly idiosyncratic.    Some of them were compared disparagingly (generally by those bemused by the ‘goings-on’ on the mountain) to chicken shacks.  They were built and occupied by writers, artists, musicians and free spirits from all walks of life.

With no electricity, people made their own entertainment, in the time honoured fashion … dramatic productions, musical evenings and what can be loosely categorized as “any excuse for a party” – Twelfth Night, Bastille Day, Burns’ Night …  They also initiated that very American phenomenon – virtually unknown elsewhere – the Renaissance Fair.
Elias Chiacos’ 1994 book,  Mountain  Drive: Santa Barbara’s Pioneer Bohemian Community tells the story – in words and copious black-and-white photographs  – of Mountain Drive’s heyday in the post-war years – the 40s, 50s and 60s. more info here thumbnail


Mountain Drive.
by Moira on Vulpes Libris
Informal housing

HOUSING IS A VERB
  last edited: Thu, 04 May 2017 15:47:17 -0700  
Is informality a resistance against regulatory overreach by governments?  Research on informal housing, in its tendency to focus overwhelmingly on less developed countries, downplaying or ignoring entirely the presence of informality in United States, French, German, English and Irish housing markets, doesn't help answer this question for these countries. However a  longstanding and widespread tradition of informal housing exists in them. Here's this article for a start.
HUMANITARIAN CATACLYSM

HOUSING IS A VERB
  last edited: Tue, 02 May 2017 10:39:31 -0700  
With housing, we say people need to follow the law. But people need to understand if we actually did that, there would be a humanitarian cataclysm.
When you see data on the state of the housing market as experienced in particular by low income renters, and you see such alarming statistics, we overlook the fact that people -low income renters for example-don’t just sit still. Human beings find other solutions, and the research we have done shows that a lot of those solutions are informal housing arrangements. The TRUTH is that our affordable housing programs don’t serve all residents, for whom informality is often a solution. Without it we would have an even more severe urban housing crisis than we do now.
Informal housing arrangements rock!
Taking talking about the weather to the streets

HOUSING IS A VERB
  last edited: Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:12:00 -0700  
I am looking forward to talking about climate change with my fellow humans in the street on Saturday (April 29th).  I know we are ingenious enough to shelter ourselves from whatever climate lies ahead, but , being Irish, I love talking about the weather .  A great day in Ventura and everywhere.

People's Climate Sister March Ventura
Man's ability to thrive by housing himself

HOUSING IS A VERB
  
While watching this amazing TED talk I am inspired by man’s alchemic ability to thrive when the chips are down.
HOUSING IS A VERB
  
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