Sunday, January 15, 2006

Mad As Hell And Not Going To Take It Anymore!

This is a call to action.

*** UPDATE: Find Mailing Addresses for Every State's Senators Here

If you can't afford a house, if you're tired of renting, if you're frustrated by the utter arrogance of people who tell you that you should uproot your life to move someplace where housing is cheaper, then now is the time to begin yelling from the rooftop of your multi-family rental housing. Start here, start now, in the comment section of this post.

I'm tired of doing nothing, of listening to excuses for why this housing market is the way it is. I'm tired of watching the news. I'm tired of writing the news. I'm tired of reporting the sour reality of this bubble market, and then being expected to chew it like it was Bubblicious.

This is a very real crisis. This isn't some petty whine from a sorry few souls afraid to jump into the market. We can't. We have been trying. We need something to be done, something that only government can do. And the only time government listens is when the people start complaining.

So do it now, or live with the only three possibilities that await us in the next couple years, possibilities that are going to hurt thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands.

Possibility one: If the bubble pops in big cities like Los Angeles and housing prices crash, my wife and I will be able to buy a home, as will many others. However, our good fortune will be tained by the ruin of many of those people who own homes now. A crash will mean that those who bought in the past couple years will become slaves to their homes, for they will owe more than the house is worth. This has happened before. It's happening now in other parts of the world. I can happen again.

Possibility two: Prices level off and remain out of reach and the hundreds of thousands of people like my wife and I never qualify for home ownership. We raise our children in rental housing, always vulnerable to the whims of landlords who raise the rent year after year after year.

Possibility three: Prices continue to rise, and the result is the same as possibility two.

Regardless of which scenario occurs, none is going to happen overnight. It will take years. Years. Some of us have already been waiting years. We're tired of waiting for nothing to be done.

I have a life! I have a hometown in Los Angeles, and I don't think I should be expected to leave it in order to buy a decent home. Why should I abandon family, friends, and a city I love, all in order to realize the so-called "American Dream" that I've spent my life chasing?

I played by the rules. I went to school, took 20 years to repay the loans that financed my college education, and never once missed a payment. I've always paid my taxes, exercised my right to vote, and worked hard every day. I've enjoyed success in my career and make a decent living. I have a beautiful wife and want to start a family in a home of our own. And yet, the "median" is beyond the reach of my wife's and my combined income. Nevermind that you cannot find a home for the median that's not two hours away in the desert, or slung under some freeway overpass with soot-stained windows and walls, the air pounded 24-hours a day by the swoosh of radials on concrete and the rat-a-tat-tat of jake brakes. This is not right. My wife and I make too much money to qualify for first-time buyer assistance, and yet too little to qualify for a 30-year fixed on even that elusive median-priced home. We are stuck in the middle, forgotten and foresaken. We get no new tax breaks. We get no government assistance. We can't even get our government's attention. This is outrageous! Unacceptable! I'm livid! And I'm not alone!

There are thousands just like us from coast to coast who are living this American nightmare instead of the American Dream. And it is long past the time to speak up.

Here is the link to this post:
Cut and paste it in an e-mail to your friends, family and acquaintances. Forward it to everyone you know who might feel the same way. Forward it to people who might know others. Scatter this URL across the nation and encourage everyone to come here this weekend and leave a comment. I'll open the blog up to anonymous comments for the next couple of days so that they don't have to register. Let's show our strength in numbers. Tell your stories. I want to hear them if for no other reason than to know I'm not alone, that there are others out there too who are mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore.

— The Boy in the Big Housing Bubble