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18 Aug, 2021 18:36

Wayne Dupree: The slogan ‘housing’s a human right’ does not mean that people have a right to free housing – that way, madness lies

Wayne Dupree: The slogan ‘housing’s a human right’ does not mean that people have a right to free housing – that way, madness lies

Most landlords are just like you and me: finding a way to make a living doing what they can. Yet the government, with its extended ‘eviction moratorium’ allowing tenants not to pay their rent, thinks it's ok to stiff them.

A lot of people have been arguing loudly recently that “Housing is a Human Right” but have totally missed what a “right” actually means. Do people have a right to housing? Yes. Do they have a right to free housing? No. Everything costs something, and demanding a “right” to free housing is simply a demand to transfer that cost onto someone else.

Being provided with rent-free housing has never been a human right. If it were, the government would build and own ALL properties in the country. You would live in them, and while you may not pay rent, your taxes would be sky high to pay for all this ‘free’ housing, the quality of the homes would be low and they’d be badly maintained, and there would still be protests citing systemic racism and inequality because people would get mad that some people were living in better houses than others, while all the politicians and government officials dole out the best ones for themselves, their families and cronies.

This is what happens under such a socialist approach – and if you don’t believe me, study how people lived in the Soviet Union or the Eastern European countries it occupied. Look at the grim, ugly public housing blocks, with their thin walls, tiny kitchens and cramped living spaces, or the communal apartments where three families were squeezed into a home designed for one. 

Instead of everyone getting treated the same – badly – America lets you work, earn and buy your own property as you please, with what you can afford.

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Think of it like this. I have the “right” under the Second Amendment to own a gun. I do not have a “right” to have the government provide me with a gun, nor do I have the right to demand that gun shop owners provide me a gun free of charge. 

It’s important to state these fundamentals at this time, because too many people – including politicians who should know better – think they should be allowed to live in someone else’s house or apartment for free.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the eviction moratorium put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic that the Democrats were late to renew and so chose to strong-arm the White House into extending it. 

According to Politico, groups representing landlords who’ve lost billions in unpaid rent have appealed the extension and want “immediate” action from the Washington, DC Court of Appeals to rule it illegal. 

Those who side with tenants believe that they can refuse to pay but stay, while the landlords/owners have to keep paying their monthly mortgage fees to the banks. This is not simply unfair, it's un-American, if not outright unconstitutional.

Here is what is happening: Mom and pop apartment owners are getting choked out, and big property-owning corporations are buying up their apartments. These corporations have powerful political influence and will eventually reverse the eviction ban. 

The small operators who charged reasonable rents will be replaced by politically influential corporations who will push rentals ever higher. Also, these developers are purchasing small apartment buildings, tearing them down and building condos in their place. Net result: higher rents and fewer apartments in which to live.

Other small landlords, their incomes slashed, are being forced to default on their mortgages and are having their properties repossessed by the banks (no moratorium for them, of course). These banks are now becoming the landlords instead of re-selling the properties to the general population as has been done in the past. Ultimately, this destroys a great deal of personal property ownership in America. That is one of the goals of this left-wing Biden administration.

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I wonder where all those tenants who stiffed the landlords and used their Covid-19 relief money to buy TVs and boats and the like will live when the eviction ban is finally lifted. I suspect many of them will have difficulty finding new apartments and houses with the references they receive, or if they do, will find their new corporate landlords are not flexible in the least about rent payments, repairs and the renter's responsibility for care and cleanliness, and have batteries of lawyers all too happy to see defaulting tenants in court.

I have no doubt that the eviction moratorium will ultimately be ruled unconstitutional. The government has scammed landlords into making them pay for and administer a social welfare program. If the government wanted to ensure people had the required income to stay housed, they should have given them the required funds and left landlords entirely out of the picture.

The longer this eviction ban goes on, the more people will find themselves out on the street when it's over.

Yeah, life is not fair. Some people live in mansions while others live in cheap apartments. The point is, if you really want, you can own your own property if you keep at it with a decent career and not settle for minimum wage.

We have friends who own a few houses and they haven’t been paid any rent monies at all from their renters for months. They’ve had to sell some of the properties to pay for the mortgages on the others. It’s not good, except for one thing: They went from being Democrats to Republicans during this experience.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.