Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Micro Home Dilemma In The USA by Walt Barrett

   Tiny homes, micro homes, or micro apartments as they now refer to them have been systematically eliminated in the USA for many years.  It seems to me that since the nineteen fifties the younger average working class people have been opting for homes that are over two thousand square feet and way beyond that in many cases.  I don't count the really wealthy because for most of them bigger is almost always better and doesn't matter.
   So anyway, now that our country has fallen upon hard times again and with the ever rising energy costs these larger homes with their larger energy bills, tax bills, heating or cooling bills and weighty mortgage payments are rapidly turning into a giant liability especially when both the husband and the wife have lost their jobs. Many of these people are either losing or have already lost there homes.  The lesson is clear and the younger generation is starting to take notice that in this new day and age having the largest home on the block is definitely not an asset.
   So what's next?  Well a great many people young and old have realized that in order to survive in the future they are going to have to move into much smaller homes and apartments more like the life style of the Asians or the Europeans who have been more practical in their home design choices for a couple of thousand years or more at this point, but that's another entire story.
   The immediate problem that we are facing today is to overcome the barriers that local governments have systematically placed in the way of change when it comes to housing.  I believe that zoning laws that pertain to building construction standards, health and safety standards are totally necessary.  What I do not believe in is restricting the minimum size of a home.  Many people have suggested to me that the cities and towns do not want to lose the tax revenue from the larger homes.  If that is truly the case then I would say to the cities and towns stop wasting our tax money buying votes with unneeded jobs, early retirements, top shelf pension plans, lifetime medical instead of medicare after retirement like the rest of us,  and the problem will eliminate itself.  If not, more and more people are going to find areas where they can build the size home that they want to live in and they will relocate eventually leaving the old home towns a shell of what they used to be and again, eventually bankrupted as a victim of their own greedy and wasteful policies.  They will simply take the economy with them.  Businesses cannot survive without skilled workers and many are already finding this out.
  There is some hope for the cities with vision who have recently amended their housing laws to allow micro homes and micro apartments.  In those cases both the cities and the people are going to be the winners.

Walt Barrett (Age 79 and concerned about my future)!