008: Gimme Shelter

Gentrification. Housing Bubbles. Developers & Their “Pay 2 Play” Campaign Donations (Bribes) to City Council Members. And then there’s the needless cruelty of permanent homelessness. On this episode, Jesse & Matt ratchet-up their manifesto on their Mixtape for the Future by talking about the second-most important cornerstone of The Golden Square: namely, the universal right to human shelter. While a good deal of the debate and conversation will provide a clear-sighted and information-packed survey on the problems, causes and solutions involved with creating universal rights to housing, Matt & Jesse will also expand past common notions of shelter that often go unnoticed in the popular conversations found in daily rituals. And in doing so, the co-hosts hope to transcend the blind and abject observations from America’s TV-Clown punditry on housing.

Mentioned in this episode:

Prashant Gopal in Bloomberg: “Homeownership Rate in the U.S. Drops to Lowest Since 1965”

After the Recession, Blackstone and Other Hedge Funds Are Big Buyers of Domestic Homes: The Real News Network’s “Another US Housing Bubble?”

Is Employment Actually Up? Birth/Death Statistics from the America’s Department of Labor

Hilary Osborne in The Guardian: “Home Ownership in England at Lowest Level in 30 Years as Housing Crisis Grows”

BBC: “General Election 2017: Labour Pledges to Build 1M New Homes”

David Harvey's RSA Animate: “Crises Of Capitalism”

NPR’s Terry Gross Interviews Historian Richard Rothstein: The American Government’s Horrific Racism in Housing: From Blockbusting to Covenants and the GI-Bill’s “Whites-Only Housing Loans”

Median Home Prices in San Jose Versus Median Home Prices in Youngstown

Poppy Noor's Guardian Editorial: “Utopian Thinking: Free Housing Should Be a Universal Right”

MintPress News: “Empty Homes Outnumber the Homeless 6 to 1, So Why Not Give Them Homes?”

Lack of Resources to Accurately Count Increased Homelessness in Riverside County & The Inland Empire

The Los Angeles Times’ 2017 Report Housing Insecurity: “L.A. County Homelessness Jumps a Staggering 23% as Need Far Outpaces Housing, New Count Shows”

The Los Angeles Times: An Interactive Map of Homelessness in L.A. County (2015)

Mela Megat in The Highlander: “UCR Takes Steps to End Food Insecurity Among Students”

Rosanna Xia in The Los Angeles Times: “1 in 10 of Cal State Students Are Homeless, Study Finds”

Matthew Snyder’s Darkly-Lit Snark: "O Great: Amber Alert for the Homeless"

Ken Ilgunas, Duke University Student: Walden on Wheels: On The Open Road from Debt to Freedom

The New York Times’ Feature Article on Ken Ilgunas: “When Home Is a Parking Lot”

Twitter Page Dedicated to Millennials’ Experiments with #Vanlife

Part II of Matthew Snyder’s Darkly-Lit Snark: "Make Millennial Poverty Hip Again"

Wikipedia’s Historical Overview of the “Rent Is Too Damn High Party”

Wikipedia’s Biography on the Founder of the “Rent Is Too Damn High Party,” Jimmy McMillan: “An American political activist, perennial candidate, karate expert, and Vietnam War veteran, as well as a former postal worker, stripper and private investigator from Brooklyn, New York.”

Percentage of Rent-controlled Homes in Los Angeles City

The Guardian’s Major Reveal: the Panama Papers and the Explosive Investments (by Wealth-Squatters) Discovered in the Big City Real Estate Market of London

Varying LA City Propositions to Deal with Both Housing and Homelessness:

The Los Angeles Times’ Editorial Board and Their Op-Ed Against Measure S

The Los Angeles Times’ Editorial Board’s and Their Support for Measure H

The Los Angeles Times’ Explores Measure S Versus Measure H

Joshua Bregman's June 1st, 2017 Facebook Post on LA’s Housing Crisis:

“This is one of the bluest cities in one of the bluest states in the country. This place is run by Democrats and has been since forever. This has nothing to do with Republicans or Trump. We’ve got high-rise luxury condos sprouting up all over Downtown that no one actually lives in. Massive gleaming skyscrapers sitting there empty while more and more people are forced out of doors. This is a disaster. I’ve been to developing countries that have less people living on the streets than the second-largest city in the wealthiest country in the world.

So here’s a proposal: how about not another goddamn viral clip, or tweet or magazine cover or open letter or vacuous emission of another goddamn celebrity or late-night comedian or entertainment industry luminary talking about Trump or Russia or “backwards ignorant America that votes against its own self-interest” or cracking jokes about the racist, sexist rubes that live out in the sticks until this shit is fixed? Do you seriously think this shit is not racist and sexist? How about not getting to be in the 1%, or even the 10%, to drive past literal tent-encampments on your way to work, to step over the dispossessed just moments before they turn on your spotlight and soundcheck your mic, and have a goddamn thing you have to say about politics and society get listened to? How about not getting to publicly opine about national, much less geo-politics until you can figure out how your own city council works and you drag your camera crews to right outside your studio doors and show the world what’s going on in America in 2017, in one of the "strongholds" of "the resistance"? How about that?”

How Police and Firefighter Unions Take Precedence Over City Housing Budgets

The Los Angeles Times: Housing Developers Own City Councils Via Campaign Donations, But That Should End

Excerpt from Jake Halpern’s Fame Junkies: How Martha Stewart’s Insider-Trading Scandal (130 minutes) Dwarfed the Coverage of the War in Darfur (26 minutes)   

UN Report (2005): A Shocking 100 Million People Are Homeless in the World & Over 1 Billion Humans Face Inadequate Shelter

Slate Magazine: How, in 2005, the Bush Administration Made Student-Debt Forgiveness Nearly Impossible (*Hint: Banks Lobbied Politicians)

Vice: American Students, Debt Ridden, Now Flee to Europe to Avoid Loan Repayments

Powerful Youtube Clip from 99 Homes -- Michael Shannon Spits Out the Truth to Andrew Garfield About How America “Always Bails Out the Winners”

Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes: A Film About the US Recession and Its Epic Housing Foreclosure Crisis

The Big Short: Michael Lewis’ 2011 Book & Its Later 2015 Film Adaptation

Background on the NINJA (or NINA) Loans: “Non Income No Asset”

How the Repeal of the Glass Steagall Act Magnified the Great Recession’s Reach

Why Infrastructure Is Equivalent to Shelter: Its Benefits to Slum-Dwellings

Clothing as Shelter

Time Magazine: “Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami Warning System Explained”

California Senate Leader, Kevin de Leon, Calls California the 5th Largest Economy After Britain’s Brexit Vote

The 2017 ASCE Infrastructure Report Card - America’s Cumulative GPA Is Once Again a D+

An MIT Study, By Economist Peter Temin, Says America Has Devolved into a Developing Nation Instead of Looking More Like Europe’s Infrastructure

Peter Temin’s The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy

America’s Stunning Incarceration Rates: The United States Has 25% of the World’s Total Prison Population Even Though the U.S. Only Makes Up 5% of World’s Human Population

Jake Blumgart in Slate Magazine: “How Bernie Sanders Made Burlington Affordable”

The National Community Land Trust Network: FAQ - What Is a Community Land Trust?

There Are Over 250 Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in America

The Common Good Podcast: “Episode 8: Community. Land. Trust” (Interview with Two Key Players in San Diego’s First Land Trust Association)

-{Matthew Snyder’s Essay on “The Circle-Jerk of Gentrification” (Forthcoming!)}-

The Village Voice: “National Punch a Hipster Is Tomorrow, Apparently”

Peter Frase in Jacobin Magazine: “Resenting Hipsters”

Tyrone Beason in The Seattle Times: “Seattle’s Vanishing Black Community”

The Los Angeles Times’ Long, Heart-Rending Feature Article on San Bernardino’s Crumbling Housing Sectors

The Guardian at Cannes: The Riveting Feature Film Premiere of Sean Baker’s The Florida Project

Why Public-Private Partnerships So Often Fail

Director Roko Belic’s Documentary Happy

Youtube Excerpt From the Documentary Happy, Which Explores the Powerful Benefits of the Danish Co-Housing Model

UCR Housing: It's Rich, Beautiful History and Its Tragic & Barbaric Closing

Maureen Dowd, from The New York Times, Complains About Student Dormers Self-Selecting Roommates: “Don’t Send in the Clones”

Other Supplementary Facts and Sources Concerning Shelter:

HUD: The 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress NOVEMBER 2016: 549,928 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States.

As of September 8th, 2016 — ATTOM Data Solutions, the nation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data and the new parent company of RealtyTrac, today released its Q3 2016 U.S. Residential Property Vacancy and Zombie Foreclosure Report, which shows nearly 1.4 million (1,361,188) U.S. residential properties (1 to 4 units) representing 1.6 percent of all residential properties were vacant as of the end of the third quarter.

On the Streets: A 12-part video series about homelessness in Southern California--with one of the stories involving a UCLA Grad student living in a car.


Averages from all 50 cities on the list:

  • Median rent for 1-bedroom apartment: $1,234.43

  • Square footage of 1-bedroom apartment: 678.32 square feet

San Francisco, California: $3600

San Jose, California: $2536

New York, New York: $2200

Washington, DC: $2172

Boston, Massachusetts: $2025

Los Angeles, California: $2014

Miami, Florida: $2000


The Kalkbreite cooperative in Zurich suggests how co-ops will become a viable housing option for the 21st century.

How Cohousing Communities Help Prevent Social Isolation.