Homelessness in the USA and Britain

This video says about yourself:

Miami, Florida USA – 20% In Poverty, Starving, Homeless – Shocking Scenes

7 March 2013

Miami is a city of luxurious apartments, with the price for one square meter up to one million dollars. But for such homeless guys as Sean it sounds like a fairytale. More and more people find themselves in such tight conditions.

“In Miami there are South Beach and Brickell with posh palaces, but there are poor regions too. It is even difficult to imagine that it is possible in the USA. Children are walking barefoot there, no windows in the houses, some people live in cars. Lots of drugs, prostitution. We have the highest poverty rate here. About 20 percent of the city lives beyond the poverty threshold”, said Mario Artecona, representative of Habitat for Humanity organization.

Posh houses and high prices have created a bubble on the real estate market. An average person cannot afford a house here, so people just flee.

“We have very big gap here in Miami between the rate of salary and the expenses. The dwellings here are ones of the most expensive. Maybe it is because of the weather and everyone wants to live here. But it is really very expensive to buy a house in Miami. And salaries are really low at that. It is a heady brew”, added Mario Artecona.

To help people who work hard and honestly and yet cannot afford a decent house, there is an organization called Habitat For Humanity. It is compiled of volunteers of all ages and social statuses, who build affordable houses for people with low income.

One of the rules to receive support of the organization is to help in building your future house. The organization provides people with a monthly salary of $600-800, which is meant to be not more than 30 percent of the family income.

For some people this organization has become a real lifesaver. For example, for the family of Ruth Quarn.

“The place where we used to live was not very good, and we were surrounded by not very nice people. It was a hard place to live. It is really hard to find a flat with four rooms, more to it when we said that we had five children, it kind of repelled people and they always said ‘no’ to us”, said Ruth.

She and her family came to the US thinking that if they work hard they will be able to buy a decent house. But they had to face cruel reality.

“Everyone believes in the American dream, which means to have one’s own house, work. But what happens in reality you work diligently, but you can hardly make your both ends meet, saying nothing about buying a house. It is almost impossible to believe that it happens in the USA, and I can’t even imagine what happens abroad”, said Ruth.

More than a half million people were homeless in the United States this year, nearly a quarter of them children, according to a new report. The homelessness crisis is a stark indicator of the social reality in 2015 America and corresponds to a scarcity of affordable housing and dwindling wages for low-income workers and their families: here.

HOW TO TREAT THE HOMELESS DURING THE SUPER BOWL “In August, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said homeless people would ‘have to leave the street’ during Super Bowl 50 and promised to provide alternative shelter. But as those people are moved out of busy tourist areas, advocates for the homeless say the city could have taken a different approach.” [HuffPost]

Local officials in Britain have responded to the growth of social destitution resulting from continued mass unemployment and cuts to social spending with sweeping efforts to crack down on the homeless population: here.

11 thoughts on “Homelessness in the USA and Britain

  1. Wednesday 16th December 2015

    posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

    – Lowest house-building since the 1920s – Homelessness up 36 per cent under Tories – Rough sleeping rises by 55 per cent
    FIVE YEARS of Tory failure on every aspect of housing is a “systematic assault” against working-class people on modest and low incomes, MPs told the Commons yesterday.

    Labour picked through the Conservatives’ “shameful” track record, which includes unprecedented rates of rough sleeping, the lowest level of peacetime house building since the 1920s and the neglect of social housing.

    Shadow housing minister John Healey reeled off figures revealing the damaging extent of the crisis, slamming Housing Minister Brandon Lewis and his predecessors for “fiddling figures and definitions” as to how many properties they built and what “affordable housing” means.

    “After spending the last five years blaming Labour, the Tories have their own track record in government and on housing it’s five years of failure across the board,” Mr Healey blasted.

    He said that the Tories built the fewest council homes for more two decades after slashing funding by 60 per cent in 2010. There were just 9,590 new council properties last year compared to 33,180 in Labour’s last year in office.

    More than 54,000 homeless people were accepted by local authorities as being in “priority need” for housing in 2014-15 — an increase of 36 per cent since the Tories first came to power.

    Rough sleeping has also increased by 55 per cent, rising from 1,768 in 2010 to 2,744 last year.

    The Tories have failed to deliver like-for-like local replacements of social homes sold through the Right to Buy scheme.

    Only one in eight homes flogged to tenants at a discount has been replaced, while council housing waiting lists grow longer across Britain.

    As well as the further sell-off of housing association (HA) and council homes, the government’s plan for so-called “starter homes” is an “insult and mockery,” Mr Healey said.

    Buyers would need a salary of £50-80,000 and deposit of £40-100,000 to afford one, according to housing charity Shelter.

    Since David Cameron became Prime Minister, the number of households that own their home has dropped by 205,000 and the number of homeowners under 35 has fallen by a fifth.

    Labour built almost two million homes in its 13 years in power and the year with the lowest number built — 124,980 homes in 2009 — is still higher than the 117,720 that were built under the Tories last year, according to Department for Communities and Local Government data.

    Mr Lewis admitted that the Tories “must do more to meet the housing needs of our nation” and they they should “supercharge [their] efforts.”

    Construction union Ucatt acting general secretary Brian Rye said that the Tories’ proposed Housing and Planning Bill was “dictated by right-wing ideology” seeking to benefit only landlords and those on high incomes.

    “Their aim is to strip Britain of all social housing. They really have no objection to rising house prices as it benefits the rich and thus they pay lip-service to any increase in house building,” he said.

    “Social housing was invented to save the poor from exploitative slum landlords. Those dark days look set to return if this Tory government gets its way.”



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