Affordable housing; costs of living

I would love to see some affordable apartments & houses built in my neighborhood on the beachside. We have a number of city-owned vacant lots, and the need is definitely there!!

I will keep advocating for truly affordably priced housing, and do whatever I can to promote it. I’m just one citizen, but there are many others advocating too. On that note, I did not realize that $1200 rent is being defined as “affordable” now and I hate that people are having to deal w that.

Even a few years ago, it was pretty easy to find apartments in my neighborhood for $500 or $600, but those are pretty much gone. We need apartments in the $500-600 range and we need them in all parts of town.

We also need to make it so more people can own their own homes.

When someone on a thread today mentioned $1200, I commented in response:

Wow that’s a lot. Hopefully that’s for a 2 or 3 bedroom??? When I first moved here from Texas, I was able to find cheap 1brs and split them with a roommate by making myself an extra “bedroom” out of tall bookcases. But, the supply of cheap apartments pretty much dried up.

If circumstances had not allowed me to buy a house (which I share with housemates), I might not have been able to stay in Daytona Beach even though I fell in love w this city and want to stay and make a difference.

Someone posted figures for the average monthly cost of living for just one person here in my city:

Rent: $1000
Electricity: $200
Water: $100
Phone: $50
Food: $400
Transportation: $300

Total: $2,050 per month

Average pay: $15/hr
40 hours: $600
4 weeks: $2400
Taxes: -$400
Total: $2,000

No room for recreation, medical expenses, or savings. I have totally been there, and would be still.

I am self-employed and my monthly income is about 700-800 before taxes. If I had to try to find an apartment now, I would either need to get multiple roommates or it would just never work.

The housing market used to naturally have more of a variety of options (all over the USA, not just here), but those are pretty much disappeared. Even mobile home parks/RV parks, which used to be one of the old reliable standbys, are getting bought up by corporations that then jack up the rent. And the old-fashioned Single Room Occupancy type buildings that a lot of people used to be able to rely on have just about gone extinct. Same with old-school landlords that did not require all sorts of credit checks, 3x income etc.

Increasing income disparity and wealth disparity is, I think, definitely a major problem and culprit of the housing crunch and homelessness throughout the USA. When I was a kid, the rich families just had bigger houses than the rest of us. Now we have people with two, three, four or more houses, which they can afford to leave sitting empty. The wealth snowballs and gets hoarded.

There are also stricter building codes and zoning nowadays, some of which may be legitimately necessary but a lot of which just jacks up the cost of construction and suppresses the market’s natural mechanisms for supplying housing. There used to be less restriction on renting out garage apartments, backyard cottages, and other naturally affordable housing options.

The lifestyle I call “deep green,” which I originally embarked on for ecological reasons, quickly showed itself to be very practical for saving money. For example:

Rent: $1000 — me, $250-300 by sharing w apartment mates (and now housemates)
Electricity: $200 — us, $35-38 split three ways
Water: $100 — us, $60 split three ways
Phone: $50 — I pay $50 for my phone also, which is also my internet
Food: $400 — me about $300, or more if I’m splurging in restaurants a lot
Transportation: $300 — my average is about $50 which includes bicycle repairs, a bit of gasoline, and the occasional cab ride

Total $2,050 — me about 700-800 (not including treats, and recent big-ticket items such as cataract surgery, glasses, new mattress)