June 15, 2015: Landlords and developers from other cities and states are buying up property in Sonoma County – and evicting lower income tenants so they can make cosmetic improvements on apartment buildings (i.e., “put lipstick on a pig”) so they can charge higher rents that are fast growing above and beyond the ability of the poor (and even many middle class) to afford.
As is usually the case in investment properties, when the wealthy owners/developers want to get wealthier, they do so by displacing those who are most vulnerable: those with low income – which includes the elderly, disabled, lower income working families, young people starting out, and those with the least resources ($$) with which to defend themselves against gentrification by these greedy, fascist bullies.
It is literally “war against the poor” when the poor don’t even have the “weapons” ($$) to defend themselves. Not only is it shameful and immoral – it is potentially dangerous and even fatal to these being displaced, since a surprising number of the displaced end up homeless.
Runaway rent increases like this exacerbate the burden not only for those poor who are directly affected, but also in additional costs to the local and federal governments via homeless prevention programs, housing subsidies, incentives to build more low-income housing, and even medical and emergency services, urgent assistance programs … and more.
Everyone loses – except for the property developers, investment property owners and landlords. They are sitting back, reaping the profit, living very large (compared to those who are displaced), while the government, business, and others pretty much kiss their backside and protect their money grabbing activities. They have millions to spend. The poor often can’t even afford decent food, and now can’t even afford a home without help.
And, on top of that, there is a strong wave of discrimination against the poor – BECAUSE they are poor. It is beyond shameful: it is pathetic for a society to allow its most vulnerable citizens to be financially raped and grievously harmed in this way.