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Apartment Rents Cheaper Than Shelters

From USA Today:

(Click to enlarge)

Apartment rents cheaper than stays in homeless shelters

By Marisol Bello, USA TODAY

March 25, 2010

Cities, states and the federal government pay more to provide the homeless with short-term shelter and services than what it would cost to rent permanent housing, the U.S. government reports.

A study of 9,000 families and individuals being released today by the Department of Housing and Urban Development finds that costs to house the newly homeless vary widely, depending on the type of shelter and social services provided by the six cities in the report.

Emergency shelter for families was the most costly. In Washington, D.C., the average bill for a month in an emergency shelter ranges from $2,500 to $3,700. In Houston, the average is $1,391.

Many communities probably don’t know that they are spending as much "to maintain a cot in a gymnasium with 100 other cots" as it would cost to rent an efficiency apartment, says Dennis Culhane, a University of Pennsylvania professor who studies housing policies. "We are paying for a form of housing that is largely substandard, and we are paying as much, if not more, than standard conventional housing."

He says the report bolsters a move by the Obama administration to focus on helping the homeless get permanent housing. The federal stimulus act last year set aside $1.5 billion to prevent homelessness by helping people pay rent, utility bills, moving costs or security deposits.

Nationwide, 1.6 million homeless people received shelter in 2008, according to government figures.

The new study does not look at the cost-effectiveness or quality of the programs…

The next thing the media will be telling us is that private insurers can give us healthcare coverage at a cheaper rate than the government.

But instead, this report will be used to expand public housing. That is, we have to give free housing to everyone claiming to be homeless.

Just think how much we will be able to reduce the deficit.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, March 25th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Apartment Rents Cheaper Than Shelters”

  1. Right of the People says:

    At least in New York I know where they could get an excellent building for the homeless, the UN. If we told that den of vipers and leeches to take a walk they could probably house a few thousand.

  2. I have tried to figure a way around zoning for some time. A plan I have had to produce inexpensive housing for about $150 a month per rented room plus electricity unfortunately always fails because of local rules.

    Funny how government rules conflict with those that would help people truly have good stop gap measures. But window requirements, sprinklers, and square foot per family seems to be an issue. Around here they would prefer the homeless sleep under a bridge I guess.

    I am holding off on starting my “broken finger insurance” for $5 a year sales.. I imagine the rules for that are even worse.

  3. proreason says:

    Just another form of redistribution.

    Now, most people think “redistribution” means confiscating money from rich white people (aren’t we all?) and giving it to poor Black people (aren’t they all?).

    But, in reality, it means confiscating money from all white people and giving it to politicians’ criminal partners.

    Like the people who run shelters, which as the article clearly points out, are just shoving the money from the gubamint into their own pockets.

  4. Mithrandir says:

    It’s again admitting that the government is so inefficient, clumsy, and stupid with its money, that direct deposits of distribution of wealth is the best option. Remember when Obama compared his ‘competitive’ health care plan with the horribly in-debt U.S. post office? ( stole a snafu right out of Joe Biden’s mouth that day)

    Yet, no matter what the outcome, liberals seem to always benefit. It’s either “Government is best.” or “The government is terrible, and direct-deposit socialism is best.”

  5. Perdido says:

    One day it will become obvious (as it was near the founding) that the gov’t shouldn’t be providing housing period. I long for that day.

  6. GetBackJack says:

    There’s opportunity for graft, redistribution and payoffs if market forces are brought to bear.

  7. bobbys says:

    Once ones in Government Housing filled with Real Doctors with Lab coats, , Truck patch in the back yard, Czars of every size and shape willing to do ones biding, Buddies from the old “hood” coming over to talk revolution and social justice its easy to lose touch.

  8. NoNeoCommies says:

    I have another money saving idea.
    Limit the number of staffers that members of congress can have and limit their salary/bonuses/benefits to only twice the national average.

    Staffers write the crap legislation that cost us so much and screw up our country so much that the homeless will stop getting any aid as everyone starts looking out for #1.

  9. GetBackJack says:

    on March 23, 1775 Patrick Henry said GIVE ME LIBERY OR GIVE ME DEATH. He did not say Give Me A Free House Or Else.

    BTW – the nearest town to me is Grand Junction, CO. It’s always been a decent, some would say great place. But it is living proof … If You Build It They Will Come.

    Between both coasts, growing up in the truly depressed Deep South and time spent overseas I’ve never seen so many men and women who CLAIM to be homeless. The town is chock full of’em. Every street corner has a beggar, teams of beggars and bums. The local shelter turns away dozens every night and in the Men’s Shelter they sleep stacked like cordwood. Still not enough room. You can’t go down by the Colorado River in certain parts of town because violent insane drunks live down there in shanty towns.


    Because back in the 80s when the call went out that Ronald Reagan was making people homeless, the local Catholic Relief cranked up and started providing beds and meals to the poor homeless men.

    Guess how that news traveled by rail and hitchers? Yes … fast and wide. Now GJ is widely known throughout the western US as one of the good places to hang if you don’t want to work.

    If you build it … they will come.

    And the rotten SOBs will stay. And they multiply.

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