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(Nation of Change)   Utah giving free apartments to homeless people   (nationofchange.org) divider line 53
    More: Interesting, Utah, 2003 Mission Accomplished speech, group object, Waikiki, Hawai'i State, National Coalition Party, homeless, Tom Bower  
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3242 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Jan 2014 at 7:30 PM (24 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-21 06:37:56 PM
Sweet. I wonder if they are all located together in the same complex/buildings, or if they are spread throughout the city? Seems like it might be a problem if all lumped together.
 
2014-01-21 06:57:06 PM

gopher321: Sweet. I wonder if they are all located together in the same complex/buildings, or if they are spread throughout the city? Seems like it might be a problem if all lumped together.


Gotta be better than this.
 
2014-01-21 07:17:09 PM
Huh. I live in Utah and I've never heard of this, which is amazing if the program is as described. You'd think the GOP here would be up in arms about the blatant giveaways, even if it does save money. Moral hazard and all. If this is indeed running smooth with no loud opposition, that's pretty amazing. Gonna have to look into this further.
 
2014-01-21 07:34:33 PM
jimeltringham.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-01-21 07:35:25 PM
Headline should read: Utah gives free socialist style dependency to those previously blessed with never ending freedom and liberty.
 
2014-01-21 07:36:21 PM

Three Crooked Squirrels: Huh. I live in Utah and I've never heard of this, which is amazing if the program is as described. You'd think the GOP here would be up in arms about the blatant giveaways, even if it does save money. Moral hazard and all. If this is indeed running smooth with no loud opposition, that's pretty amazing. Gonna have to look into this further.


I live in Utah too and I have also never heard of this.

Seems to be a logical humanitarian approach to a complex problem.
 
m00
2014-01-21 07:36:58 PM
No word on giving free gold tablets to people with hats.
 
2014-01-21 07:38:15 PM

"Wow, what a great free place to live!"


dailyhaze.com

 
2014-01-21 07:41:45 PM
I wonder how long it is, after you move in, until the Men on Bikes appear...
reubenscube.net
 
2014-01-21 07:42:34 PM

Beerguy: Three Crooked Squirrels: Huh. I live in Utah and I've never heard of this, which is amazing if the program is as described. You'd think the GOP here would be up in arms about the blatant giveaways, even if it does save money. Moral hazard and all. If this is indeed running smooth with no loud opposition, that's pretty amazing. Gonna have to look into this further.

I live in Utah too and I have also never heard of this.

Seems to be a logical humanitarian approach to a complex problem.


The biggest problems with free housing:

1) It creates joblessness. If your biggest expense is paid for, you get food stamps, Medicaid, etc., there is no incentive to work.
2) These tend to concentrate the people most likely to commit crime.
3) People don't value what they get for free. They are much less likely to take care of what they don't pay for.

That said, even as someone who is rather libertarian, I believe in guaranteeing a basic quality of life: basic housing, medical care, utilities, etc. I'm just concerned about a situation where people get trapped in dependency.
 
2014-01-21 07:45:22 PM
On a off topic note I just learned that my state rep is a gigantic prick, and I have even met the guy and his wife a couple of time, fark him from now on.
 
2014-01-21 07:48:59 PM
Do the people just get to live there rent-free or do they literally GIVE the apartment to the homeless person? Because if it's the latter, the program sounds like it's a hell of a lot more expensive than they're saying.
 
2014-01-21 07:52:21 PM

meanmutton: Beerguy: Three Crooked Squirrels: Huh. I live in Utah and I've never heard of this, which is amazing if the program is as described. You'd think the GOP here would be up in arms about the blatant giveaways, even if it does save money. Moral hazard and all. If this is indeed running smooth with no loud opposition, that's pretty amazing. Gonna have to look into this further.

I live in Utah too and I have also never heard of this.

Seems to be a logical humanitarian approach to a complex problem.

The biggest problems with free housing:

1) It creates joblessness. If your biggest expense is paid for, you get food stamps, Medicaid, etc., there is no incentive to work.
2) These tend to concentrate the people most likely to commit crime.
3) People don't value what they get for free. They are much less likely to take care of what they don't pay for.

That said, even as someone who is rather libertarian, I believe in guaranteeing a basic quality of life: basic housing, medical care, utilities, etc. I'm just concerned about a situation where people get trapped in dependency.


Having seen the crime spike centered around a new section 8 complex when it was built in my area, I can see your point. However, from what I've heard of the Utah program, it's a little bit different because they apparently assign each person a social worker who is diligent about getting/pushing them into other programs that will help them solve their underlying problems- treatments for addiction and mental health issues, as well as working with them to find jobs. Also worth noting, the pilot of this program started with homeless veterans, who might be homeless in good part because of unresolved ptsd issues, which once treated allowed them to be able to be more stable in their employment.

Either way, the end result is that it does end up causing the tax payers less, and if it works I think it will be because of the extra push from social workers not to let people be complacent but to get treatment/help for each thing holding them back from fully integrating normal society. There may be a few who resist this, but overall I think this is a good thing.
 
2014-01-21 07:54:03 PM

Atomic Spunk: Do the people just get to live there rent-free or do they literally GIVE the apartment to the homeless person? Because if it's the latter, the program sounds like it's a hell of a lot more expensive than they're saying.


$11k per year sounds like a real shiatty apartment if they're factoring in the cost of the social worker's salary.
 
2014-01-21 07:55:56 PM
Fantastic!  Now every jurisdiction with homeless should give them a one way ticket to Salt Lake City, Utah.
 
2014-01-21 07:57:46 PM

meanmutton: Beerguy: Three Crooked Squirrels: Huh. I live in Utah and I've never heard of this, which is amazing if the program is as described. You'd think the GOP here would be up in arms about the blatant giveaways, even if it does save money. Moral hazard and all. If this is indeed running smooth with no loud opposition, that's pretty amazing. Gonna have to look into this further.

I live in Utah too and I have also never heard of this.

Seems to be a logical humanitarian approach to a complex problem.

The biggest problems with free housing:

1) It creates joblessness. If your biggest expense is paid for, you get food stamps, Medicaid, etc., there is no incentive to work.
2) These tend to concentrate the people most likely to commit crime.
3) People don't value what they get for free. They are much less likely to take care of what they don't pay for.

That said, even as someone who is rather libertarian, I believe in guaranteeing a basic quality of life: basic housing, medical care, utilities, etc. I'm just concerned about a situation where people get trapped in dependency.


I think (most) people would want to work so they can live better than what the State will provide ( eg. Cars, Cable TV, eventually owning some nice property, fine dining, etc.). I know I would, if I were in that situation....

/ I also wouldn't want to be a leech, but unfortunately some people don't have a problem being one....
// don't really disagree with your other points here
/// maybe some sort of carrot & stick approach to getting the homeless off the street is in order ( workhouses perhaps?)
 
2014-01-21 07:59:54 PM
The apartement building is quite nice, actually. It's is a twelve-story block combining classical neo-Georgian features with the efficiency of modern techniques. The tenants arrive in the entrance hall here, and are carried along the corridor on a conveyor belt in extreme comfort and past murals depicting Mediterranean scenes, towards the rotating knives. The last twenty feet of the corridor are heavily soundproofed. The blood pours down these chutes....
 
2014-01-21 08:00:17 PM
I'm totally going to move in and gay marry every dude who lives there.
 
2014-01-21 08:00:33 PM
awesome.

good for you Utah, thinking of the tax payer & those Americans who aren't quite fit to run the rat race or play the game of Capitalism Life.

Hopefully, the homeless folks can turn things around & at least enjoy one moment of their miserable, loveless, homeless, penniless, sane-less sack of puke lives.
 
2014-01-21 08:02:37 PM

Soup4Bonnie: Headline should read: Utah gives free socialist style dependency to those previously blessed with never ending freedom and liberty.


Cool.

Utah does something that is actually effective, costs the taxpayer less, improves the community & provided some dignity.

We have a problem - someone has no clothes - let's get them some clothes. Well then...
 
2014-01-21 08:11:47 PM

meanmutton: Beerguy: Three Crooked Squirrels: Huh. I live in Utah and I've never heard of this, which is amazing if the program is as described. You'd think the GOP here would be up in arms about the blatant giveaways, even if it does save money. Moral hazard and all. If this is indeed running smooth with no loud opposition, that's pretty amazing. Gonna have to look into this further.

I live in Utah too and I have also never heard of this.

Seems to be a logical humanitarian approach to a complex problem.

The biggest problems with free housing:

1) It creates joblessness. If your biggest expense is paid for, you get food stamps, Medicaid, etc., there is no incentive to work.
2) These tend to concentrate the people most likely to commit crime.
3) People don't value what they get for free. They are much less likely to take care of what they don't pay for.

That said, even as someone who is rather libertarian, I believe in guaranteeing a basic quality of life: basic housing, medical care, utilities, etc. I'm just concerned about a situation where people get trapped in dependency.


A quarter of new yorkers are employed and homeless/living in shelters. There is only enough shelter space for less than half of the city's homeless.

Nyc shelters cost, on average, $3000 a month for a family of 4.

A 2 bedroom apartment in the parkchester section of the Bronx (a decent area) costs $1300 a month.

What is wrong with this picture?
 
2014-01-21 08:17:45 PM

Beerguy: Three Crooked Squirrels: Huh. I live in Utah and I've never heard of this, which is amazing if the program is as described. You'd think the GOP here would be up in arms about the blatant giveaways, even if it does save money. Moral hazard and all. If this is indeed running smooth with no loud opposition, that's pretty amazing. Gonna have to look into this further.

I live in Utah too and I have also never heard of this.

Seems to be a logical humanitarian approach to a complex problem.


They probably don't want to advertise it.  That way they can reach out to people who actually need it, rather than have to sift through applications from everyone who wants a free apartment.  Most homeless people don't handle the hoops that one has to normally jump through with a government aid program too well.
 
2014-01-21 08:22:34 PM
meanmutton
1) It creates joblessness. If your biggest expense is paid for, you get food stamps, Medicaid, etc., there is no incentive to work.

Why do you work
for eight hours or more?
There'd be jobs for us both
if you'd only work four.
 
2014-01-21 08:30:55 PM

meanmutton: Beerguy: Three Crooked Squirrels: Huh. I live in Utah and I've never heard of this, which is amazing if the program is as described. You'd think the GOP here would be up in arms about the blatant giveaways, even if it does save money. Moral hazard and all. If this is indeed running smooth with no loud opposition, that's pretty amazing. Gonna have to look into this further.

I live in Utah too and I have also never heard of this.

Seems to be a logical humanitarian approach to a complex problem.

The biggest problems with free housing:

1) It creates joblessness. If your biggest expense is paid for, you get food stamps, Medicaid, etc., there is no incentive to work.
2) These tend to concentrate the people most likely to commit crime.
3) People don't value what they get for free. They are much less likely to take care of what they don't pay for.

That said, even as someone who is rather libertarian, I believe in guaranteeing a basic quality of life: basic housing, medical care, utilities, etc. I'm just concerned about a situation where people get trapped in dependency.


Normally I would agree with you, but when you have worked with the homeless, you realize most of them are never going to manage to handle a regular job.  That said, I think the program is going to hit a serious snag, when the people who think they need the assistance, take it away from those who actually do.
 
2014-01-21 08:32:22 PM
stupid mormons, what with always giving to charity and helping the poor

they are so stupid
 
2014-01-21 08:48:43 PM

meanmutton: 1) It creates joblessness. If your biggest expense is paid for, you get food stamps, Medicaid, etc., there is no incentive to work.


I think this is only true if working puts you in a worse situation than some forms of aid - which is often the case!  That's why Milton Friedman argued for a negative tax - the first (very low) tax bracket would give you money, guaranteeing a minimum income.  He liked it because you didn't lose anything by getting a job - you'd be taxed on any income beyond that first bracket, but you'd always make more money by working.  Ultimately that's all people care about.  Just like how rich people still work hard regardless of how much their high-bracket income is taxed (unless the tax rates got ridiculous, of course).
 
2014-01-21 08:48:46 PM
img.fark.net

You know who else has a FREE house paid for by the government??
 
2014-01-21 08:50:18 PM

GORDON: stupid mormons, what with always giving to charity and helping the poor

they are so stupid


On the whole, they tend to be a pretty good variety of Christian*, except when the charity of choice is a political campaign to take rights away from gay people. But they seem to have perhaps learned from that fiasco, too.

I have limited experience with the Mormon church, but they do very much seem to keep most of their judging and condemning within the family, so to speak (the recent problem in California not withstanding) and are rather good about making sure that those tithes that Mitt Romney evaded generally go to good uses.

*: depending on which variety of evangelical you ask
 
2014-01-21 08:50:21 PM
meanmutton:
1) It creates joblessness. If your biggest expense is paid for, you get food stamps, Medicaid, etc., there is no incentive to work.


So you must have no job, right?
Sounds like you would have to be pretty STUPID to keep working for something you can get for free, like you say.
 
2014-01-21 08:52:48 PM
Their "solution" sucks. My solution: every month, social workers could be sent out to do evaluations of the homeless based on their health. The least healthy homeless people would have their bodies deboned and thrown into a meat grinder. The meat would be cooked up and fed to the remaining homeless people. You keep doing this over and over then pretty soon all you're left with is one homeless person. Shoot that last person in the head and the entire homeless problem has been eliminated.
 
2014-01-21 08:59:03 PM

ambercat: they apparently assign each person a social worker who is diligent about getting/pushing them into other programs that will help them solve their underlying problems- treatments for addiction and mental health issues, as well as working with them to find jobs. Also worth noting, the pilot of this program started with homeless veterans, who might be homeless in good part because of unresolved ptsd issues, which once treated allowed them to be able to be more stable in their employment.


So much this.

People don't understand that problems like homelessness need multi-pronged approaches. One little bill by itself ain't gonna cut it; you need a culture of bills designed to help address root causes. Poor folks desperately need someone like a social worker who will help them navigate the programs they need to access; sometimes it's not laziness or stupidity or crazy, it's simply ignorance over a) what programs are actually out there, b) how to fill out the forms because when you're poor your life doesn't fit in the neat little boxes people like to make forms out of, and c) what NOT to do so they don't screw themselves later on even though they were trying to be honest about everything.

Talk to people who actually get social services, and then ask average folks what they think it takes to get social services and what is available. The disparity between the two is literally killing people.

/had several people suggest last year that I apply for Section 8 housing assistance. Local Section 8 has been closed for applications since 2011. *sigh*
 
2014-01-21 08:59:05 PM
Yet again we see the truth. Socialism works.
 
2014-01-21 09:08:11 PM

meanmutton: Beerguy: Three Crooked Squirrels: Huh. I live in Utah and I've never heard of this, which is amazing if the program is as described. You'd think the GOP here would be up in arms about the blatant giveaways, even if it does save money. Moral hazard and all. If this is indeed running smooth with no loud opposition, that's pretty amazing. Gonna have to look into this further.

I live in Utah too and I have also never heard of this.

Seems to be a logical humanitarian approach to a complex problem.

The biggest problems with free housing:

1) It creates joblessness. If your biggest expense is paid for, you get food stamps, Medicaid, etc., there is no incentive to work.
2) These tend to concentrate the people most likely to commit crime.
3) People don't value what they get for free. They are much less likely to take care of what they don't pay for.


Where are you getting this information?
 
2014-01-21 09:21:22 PM

Atomic Spunk: Their "solution" sucks. My solution: every month, social workers could be sent out to do evaluations of the homeless based on their health. The least healthy homeless people would have their bodies deboned and thrown into a meat grinder. The meat would be cooked up and fed to the remaining homeless people. You keep doing this over and over then pretty soon all you're left with is one homeless person. Shoot that last person in the head and the entire homeless problem has been eliminated.


I guess this would be a Final Solution....
 
2014-01-21 09:26:30 PM

meanmutton: 1) It creates joblessness. If your biggest expense is paid for, you get food stamps, Medicaid, etc., there is no incentive to work.


Oh, and this needs to be blown out of everyone's vocabulary.

If all expenses EVER were paid, people would still work. The average person has no idea how soul-crushing, depressing, and boring long-term unemployment is. You will do something, even if you just think of it as a hobby. That something is called work. No one, not even the most committed of stoners, will sit on their asses day after day and do nothing.

And you know what happens when people are allowed leisure time to have hobbies? They do cool crap like build the pyramids and paint the Sistine Chapel and raise little Mozarts and Beethovens and da Vincis. These are much more valuable to society than whether or not you filled out that TPS cover sheet like your boss forgot to tell you to, even if you get paid and Little da Vinci doesn't.
 
2014-01-21 09:31:35 PM

Atomic Spunk: Their "solution" sucks. My solution: every month, social workers could be sent out to do evaluations of the homeless based on their health. The least healthy homeless people would have their bodies deboned and thrown into a meat grinder. The meat would be cooked up and fed to the remaining homeless people. You keep doing this over and over then pretty soon all you're left with is one homeless person. Shoot that last person in the head and the entire homeless problem has been eliminated.


I propose the same for over weight people.  Gat-damn drains on our social health care, every one of them.
 
m00
2014-01-21 09:34:11 PM

Peki: /had several people suggest last year that I apply for Section 8 housing assistance. Local Section 8 has been closed for applications since 2011. *sigh*


i.walmartimages.com

Video games, is there anything they can't do?
 
2014-01-21 09:37:06 PM

GORDON: stupid mormons, what with always giving to charity and helping the poor

they are so stupid


The vast majority of people in Utah are not Mormon.  Unless you count the "official" numbers the church uses, which counts anyone that was ever baptized, and people who have left the church until they are a 110, just to be sure they are dead.  Most people born into Mormonism leave the religion behind, as do most converts.  The majority of Utah's residents may have been associated with the church at one time, but they are not so now.
 
2014-01-21 09:46:12 PM
Ft lauderdale had a program like this.

My friend was a social worker with the homeless mentally ill placed in some of these available units. Most were unwilling to stay on their provided psych meds and/ or off drugs and booze and keep required group appointments. Many would not abide,by the,rules and let her in for home visits. Many trashed the units and a large percent ended up back on the street of their own will.

Programs like Habitat for humanity have buy in from the families and are more effective. Good luck with this program.
 
2014-01-21 09:47:48 PM
If I have learned nothing else since moving to Utah, is that this type hardest friggin' state to predict... That doesn't stop everyone on Fark from trying, but that doesn't change the fact that every time you think you know what Utah is going to do, there's an even chance that they will do something totally different...

About the program:

"Each participant in Utah's Housing First program also gets a caseworker to help them become self-sufficient, but the keep the apartment even if they fail."

I swear I came up with almost this same plan back in high school, down to the caseworker and everything. The only difference in my idea is that you would have a time limit of some kind to be self sufficient, but I have long believed that with a lot of homeless people, it's the fact that they don't have an address, clean clothes, self confidence, or a clue on how to go about being productive members of society... This is a good plan, hope it works out.
 
2014-01-21 09:50:12 PM

meanmutton: 1) It creates joblessness. If your biggest expense is paid for, you get food stamps, Medicaid, etc., there is no incentive to work.


Got any citations for this? Otherwise, I'm just going to assume that you're talking out of your ass.

/lives under a roof and has Medicaid
//still works full-time doing physical labor
 
2014-01-21 09:50:56 PM

meanmutton: Beerguy: Three Crooked Squirrels: Huh. I live in Utah and I've never heard of this, which is amazing if the program is as described. You'd think the GOP here would be up in arms about the blatant giveaways, even if it does save money. Moral hazard and all. If this is indeed running smooth with no loud opposition, that's pretty amazing. Gonna have to look into this further.

I live in Utah too and I have also never heard of this.

Seems to be a logical humanitarian approach to a complex problem.

The biggest problems with free housing:

1) It creates joblessness. If your biggest expense is paid for, you get food stamps, Medicaid, etc., there is no incentive to work.
2) These tend to concentrate the people most likely to commit crime.
3) People don't value what they get for free. They are much less likely to take care of what they don't pay for.

That said, even as someone who is rather libertarian, I believe in guaranteeing a basic quality of life: basic housing, medical care, utilities, etc. I'm just concerned about a situation where people get trapped in dependency.


I'm sure that all these problems are supported with rigorous research and data.
 
2014-01-21 09:58:32 PM

GGracie: I wonder how long it is, after you move in, until the Men on Bikes appear...
[reubenscube.net image 500x333]


If the Mormons gave me...GAVE ME...a place to live, no strings attached, I would not only invite those Men on Bikes in to talk, I might actually give them the benefit of the doubt and actually listen to what they had to say.

Gents, this is what people mean when they say 'walk the walk.'
 
2014-01-21 10:05:56 PM

meanmutton: 1) It creates joblessness. If your biggest expense is paid for, you get food stamps, Medicaid, etc., there is no incentive to work.


Start applying for jobs listing a homeless shelter as your address. See how many callbacks you get. Then show up to an interview without having had access to a shower for a few days and see how many offer you a job. Even for people that could hold down a job, the obstacles to employment that homelessness puts in place are bigger than the lack of incentive to work they get from having a free apartment.
 
2014-01-21 10:15:09 PM

Some Coke Drinking Guy: meanmutton: Beerguy: Three Crooked Squirrels: Huh. I live in Utah and I've never heard of this, which is amazing if the program is as described. You'd think the GOP here would be up in arms about the blatant giveaways, even if it does save money. Moral hazard and all. If this is indeed running smooth with no loud opposition, that's pretty amazing. Gonna have to look into this further.

I live in Utah too and I have also never heard of this.

Seems to be a logical humanitarian approach to a complex problem.

The biggest problems with free housing:

1) It creates joblessness. If your biggest expense is paid for, you get food stamps, Medicaid, etc., there is no incentive to work.
2) These tend to concentrate the people most likely to commit crime.
3) People don't value what they get for free. They are much less likely to take care of what they don't pay for.

That said, even as someone who is rather libertarian, I believe in guaranteeing a basic quality of life: basic housing, medical care, utilities, etc. I'm just concerned about a situation where people get trapped in dependency.

Normally I would agree with you, but when you have worked with the homeless, you realize most of them are never going to manage to handle a regular job.  That said, I think the program is going to hit a serious snag, when the people who think they need the assistance, take it away from those who actually do.


Yep.

The people who are down on their luck are going to get out of the bad situation with actual help.

The chronically homeless are, for the most part, never going to be able to work a regular job.  They don't function on the same level we do.  They are are frequently mentally and/or physically ill, they are frequently addicts, and they frequently do not have the mental capability to comprehend what is required to be able to work any kind of job.  It's really sad, but there are people who are going to need assistance for the rest of their lives.
 
2014-01-21 10:26:18 PM
Lets see... a warm and safe place to sleep, a bathroom to clean up in, a kitchen where you can make your own meals, and address for mail... a good secret of being hired by someone is not to look like you are homeless.
 
2014-01-21 11:11:16 PM

skinink: "Wow, what a great free place to live!"
[dailyhaze.com image 703x359]


They didn't sell-out.


...they bought-in
 
2014-01-21 11:35:35 PM

meanmutton: Beerguy: Three Crooked Squirrels: Huh. I live in Utah and I've never heard of this, which is amazing if the program is as described. You'd think the GOP here would be up in arms about the blatant giveaways, even if it does save money. Moral hazard and all. If this is indeed running smooth with no loud opposition, that's pretty amazing. Gonna have to look into this further.

I live in Utah too and I have also never heard of this.

Seems to be a logical humanitarian approach to a complex problem.

The biggest problems with free housing:

1) It creates joblessness. If your biggest expense is paid for, you get food stamps, Medicaid, etc., there is no incentive to work.
2) These tend to concentrate the people most likely to commit crime.
3) People don't value what they get for free. They are much less likely to take care of what they don't pay for.

That said, even as someone who is rather libertarian, I believe in guaranteeing a basic quality of life: basic housing, medical care, utilities, etc. I'm just concerned about a situation where people get trapped in dependency.


This program seems to be working well - and I suspect they screen very thoroughly. If great care is taken to match these programs with people who are really trying to turn things around, and within reach of achieving some concrete, planned life goal with some help, they can succeed.
People who are drifting, trapped in addiction, still waiting to hit bottom - they need to be screened out and diverted to programs that deal with their problems, not give them housing they will not be able to use to better themselves.
 
2014-01-21 11:38:51 PM

7th Son of a 7th Son: Atomic Spunk: Do the people just get to live there rent-free or do they literally GIVE the apartment to the homeless person? Because if it's the latter, the program sounds like it's a hell of a lot more expensive than they're saying.

$11k per year sounds like a real shiatty apartment if they're factoring in the cost of the social worker's salary.


Which I think is a good thing because it will motivate the person to solve their problems and move on.
 
2014-01-22 02:53:08 AM

meanmutton: The biggest problems with free housing:

1) It creates joblessness. If your biggest expense is paid for, you get food stamps, Medicaid, etc., there is no incentive to work.
2) These tend to concentrate the people most likely to commit crime.
3) People don't value what they get for free. They are much less likely to take care of what they don't pay for.

That said, even as someone who is rather libertarian, I believe in guaranteeing a basic quality of life: basic housing, medical care, utilities, etc. I'm just concerned about a situation where people get trapped in dependency.


The problem isn't giving people free things, it's taking them away faster than they can earn them.  The bottom end of the tax system, when you include loss of benefits as a tax (functionally, it is) can result in tax rates near 100%.  For instance, SSI in NYS pays $800 a month, and another $150 in Food Stamps, you get Medicaid and HUD rent assistance (your rent plus heat is set at 1/3 of your income.  Do to some other allowances, that works out to a rent/utility of about $230, a subsidy of about $700, so you are getting nearly zero copay insurance and about $1650 in spendable aid.  You can earn up to 50 dollars a month before you have to report it.  Above that threshold you lose 50 cents for every dollar you make, and 1/3 of the remaining 50 cents is lost on your rent/utility subsidy.  You'll very quickly lose those Food Stamps too, and you'll have to navigate keeping your assets below a certain level (usually not to hard, but tough if you get any windfalls) and your income below a certain level or risk losing your benefits.  Throw in some student loans (student loans can garnish you income, but not basic SSI, because it's below the poverty level, but they can garnish any wages you make and student loan payments down lower your income for spend downs, so the loan people will be looking at any money you make gross, even although 50% and then 1/3 are getting lopped off.

Throw in the expenses of working- transportation, work clothes...

If the system had more of a gap before you started loosing benefits, and they tapered off more slowly, you'd see a lot more people motivated to get back in the job market.

gophurt: $11k per year sounds like a real shiatty apartment if they're factoring in the cost of the social worker's salary.


It depends where you are living.  There are lots of places where that will get you a really nice place.  My carpets could use replacing, but I've got a view of the woods, walking distance to shopping, ample parking- even with heat and electric the rent is well below 11k- it's not a huge apartment.  The kitchen is a little cramped, but the living room is 20x12 and the bedroom is about 12x12.  Obviously the social worker isn't going to be seeing them every day.  It's a single bedroom, but you can get the 2 bedroom the complex rents for about $900 a month, and it's in a pretty good school district.  There are nicer apartments near by, with a pool and gym that still are under $1000 a month.

Of course, you are stuck in SmAlbany, NY, but hey, you it's better than Utah.
 
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