Devereaux Housing/Homelessness Q4
Dismantling the state mental hospital systems in the 1960s, then not adequately funding the community mental health which was to replace it, has led to our prisons and jails becoming the default housing for the mentally ill who cycle in and out of homelessness and incarceration. They were not designed and are not staffed to deal with these problems.
Providing the homeless jobs is a critical piece of addressing the problem. San Bernardino, Orange and Los Angeles Counties are focusing more on this issue. The coastal and big city-centric view is that NIMBYism is what prevents dense, transit-oriented, multi-family housing in any community in which it is not being built. While that may be true in some cities, there are many inland areas in which it is not lack of political will, it’s just plain economics. The market will not bear the cost of the concrete and steel required to build to higher densities.
In the United States we live in more space than people in any country in the world, other than Australia. Living in less space per person, with more shared amenities, is more affordable. Communities should amend their codes to allow it.