Them that’s got shall have. Them that’s not shall lose.

10 thoughts on “Them that’s got shall have. Them that’s not shall lose.”

  1. We are landlords, owning several single family houses, although we used to own low income apartments. Something you have left out is the lack of pride that SOME tenants have in their abode. I grew up low income but we took pride in how our home was cared for, even before we owned one. It was clean and orderly and the yard was cared for. My husband and I have also rented and cared for the home as though we owned it. Our low income tenants, for the most part, were slovenly and left the rental in horrible shape, and even some of the middle income tenants did the same, living in filth and leaving the home that way. We made the decision to buy only middle income single family houses because they are much less trouble to manage, which we do ourselves. We pay our taxes, mortgages, and keep our rentals in tip top shape for our tenants. You make it sound as though all owners are making millions on the backs of poor people, and that just isn’t true for the majority of landlords.

  2. Critical now in Los Angeles is to find a way to house homeless people. What I want to see is action to take over vast asphalt parking lots and put up temporary housing for people complete with sanitation and some security. There is no reason people should be sleeping on the streets.

  3. >>The city has spent almost nothing on my old block for decades. Yet those sad buildings keep spinning off revenue year after year. And there are a lot of them. Collectively they generate enough excess cash that the authorities can siphon it off to fund other activities.<<

    This is my number one complaint as a resident of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley in particular. This bizarre inversion of the working poor subsidizing the wealthy (in rents) and the politically connected (in taxpayer funded projects) has been going on for years, unfettered, protected by a cone of silence in local media. Scrutinize a month of utility bills. Look at all the hidden charges: 70 cents here, two bucks there; siphoned off into designated funds most of us have never heard of. These pools of money are vast, into the billions, and held apart from the general budget.

    When one goes to the city councilperson's office and asks for basic improvements, a minimum of civic provision, one is told the city is 'flat broke'.


  4. I’m not sure where the cash flow comes from with these old apartments to fund the upgrades you suggest. The rents go to the landlords, many of whom also pay mortgages, property tax, and maintenance – though much maintenance appears to be deferred – still tenants move in and out, carpets are replaced, units are painted, etc. What flows to the county are the property taxes. The city likely gets the sales taxes spent in the various small businesses.

    1. It’s in the property tax. Most, if not all, places in the US do property tax based on property appraisals, which combine the value of both the land and the stuff built on it. On the other hand, municipalities’ infrastructure costs are much more closely a function of area. In most cities that means that the taxes from the core, where they are paid far in excess of costs to the city, go to the periphery, augmenting the insufficient funds from development there (since there is much lower density.) In a lot of places, that means that the infrastructure for the rich only exists because it was paid for by the poor.

      If you like visuals, I highly recommend Urban3, an Asheville organization that maps this in many places:

  5. When I first saw the photo this morning I said….OH, Highland Park, how I miss you. Then I looked closer and realized how far apart the buildings were and how wide the lot was. That’s when I realized it was in the Valley. We’ve got something real interesting cooking in Pacoima, hoping that it turns into a real gig this fall helping to advise some land use decisions there related to transit improvements. AKA, how to not totally screwup the last affordable place to live in LA. The city councilor for the area really gets it and is not running for re-election next year. So he’s free to actually do what’s right and not what’s popular.

    We’ll be in LA on November 30 for a workshop if you want to join us.

    These last few posts have been killing it, BTW. I love all the stuff showing how people actually make decisions when not distorted by the big promise of government doing it for them. I laughed out loud at your screenshot of your map trying to get to Irvine. I used to have to drive down there all the time to do plan checks for orange county projects. If I ever got stuck trying to come back in the afternoon after 3 PM, I just drove to the beach instead, got a margarita and waited until 8 PM to start back. It was the civilized choice.

    Jim Kumon Executive Director

    Incremental Development Alliance

    612.875.1196 | Minneapolis, MN

    T: @incrementaldev @jimkumon

    FB: Small Scale Developers – IDA

    1. Jim – I’m still concerned that I pissed off everyone in Columbus, Georgia and made your life and job that much harder. Nice people. Pleasant town. Fucked up system. Do you really want me around again? I’m a complete pain in the ass.

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