It is hardly news that our housing crisis is a train wreck of the first order. Because many well-paying jobs have been eliminated and contract work and part-time jobs have replaced full-time jobs with benefits, incomes have tanked. Today, housing cannot be built or rehabbed at an affordable price for low and moderate income people. “Affordable” means spending not more than 30% of your gross income for housing.
This translates to:
Annual income Monthly Housing Cost
$15,000 (≈ Social Security) $375
The AARP reports that:
Today, half of those 65 and older have annual incomes below $20,000… Every dollar of the average Social Security retirement benefit of a little over $15,000 is absolutely critical to the typical beneficiary. For older American households receiving benefits, Social Security is the principal source of income for nearly two-thirds, and roughly one third of these households depend on Social Security for nearly all of their income. Reliance on Social Security as a source of guaranteed income only increases as people age…
It’s not clear when Congress will come to its senses so let’s get busy creating solutions at the community level.
One obvious way to achieve affordable housing is some sort of sharing, a prospect that delights some and dismays others. Humans are designed for daily interaction with others so sharing might be a big improvement if the environment supports your soul and your wallet. Creating the opportunities to find those environments is the purpose of New Community Vision’s Housing Mixers. As the idea of sharing becomes more acceptable, a wider variety of possibilities open up.
Housing Mixers are monthly community gatherings at which people consider a range of housing alternatives and meet others exploring their options too. As people gather month after month, they will meet others they would like to see more of and some they would like to see less of. Over time, affinity groups may want to form households. Our goal is to support people to make healthy choices and communicate effectively thereby creating harmonious environments.
Housing Mixers take place on the 4th Sunday of every month (July 28th) at the Lake Street Church of Evanston from 12 – 2. Since it is lunch time, I’ll bring my traditional black beans with rice, onions and a load of garlic. If you would like to bring something, please do.
For information, call Terry Edlin @ 312-375-1423 or e-mail @ firstname.lastname@example.org.