Everyone should have a guarantee of quality housing. There’s no question that we have the resources to do it, but there’s currently a huge, politically entrenched parasitic class of people who make money off of owning other people’s homes. I’ll put in the obligatory “not all landlords” here – I believe a majority of landlords are “small”, just renting out part of the home they themselves live in, and things like that. The problem is that a majority of renters have to deal with the big landlords – the ones who own dozens or even hundreds of homes. Having a housing market of the kind that we do means that landlords’ right to profit is treated as more important than anyone’s right to shelter. When you include homes that are kept deliberately vacant, the wealth of landlords comes at the cost of the death of poor people. The presence of good landlords who do their best by their tenants doesn’t change that broader dynamic.
This is also an entirely solvable problem. We could make high-quality public housing that doesn’t have a stigma attached to it, but the people in power would rather have people die on the street. That is not an exaggeration, it is the literal truth. Multimillionaires and multibillionaires actively want people dying on the streets. They generally won’t say it directly, but that is the intended outcome of their efforts to use austerity to curb inflation – they want more poverty and desperation, because it makes people easier to control.
And they know that that means more people dying on the street. That’s an intended outcome.
As usual, Cody’s Showdy does a good job digging into this subject, as well as the extremely racist history of housing and home ownership in the United States. He also goes more into solutions, like the public housing I said we could be doing, so here – have Some More News!