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posted by janrinok on Tuesday July 09, @01:38PM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

There's a new bill before federal parliament calling for housing to be considered a fundamental human right.

The bill, introduced by independent federal parliamentarians Kylea Tink and David Pocock, would require the government to create a 10-year National Housing and Homelessness Plan.

One part of the bill states housing should be considered a fundamental human right for all Australians. Here's how this would work.

Since its election in 2022, the Albanese government has had to fight political battles to pass its housing policies.

This includes the Housing Australia Future Fund: a $10 billion fund to provide an annual $500 million for social and affordable rental housing. It passed the parliament last year.

There's also the "Help to Buy" shared equity scheme. Under this scheme, 10,000 households a year would be eligible for a government equity contribution of up to 40% of the purchase price of a new home. It's yet to pass the parliament.

But many in the community continue to struggle with unaffordable rents, barriers to home ownership and rising rates of homelessness.

Housing and homelessness problems are complex because they crossover different areas of policy and different levels of government. There are many agencies that do housing policy.

But so far, the government has not had a clear plan. Its election promise to develop a National Housing and Homelessness Plan is still under development. And at the moment, it does not appear to be addressing important policy areas like tax and finance.

[...] Tink and Pocock have also taken up our research and turned it into the National Housing and Homelessness Plan Bill.

The bill would require the housing minister of the day to develop and implement a ten year National Housing and Homelessness Plan. This would mean taking a view of housing policy beyond three-year election cycles.

The legislation would also set some basic directions for the government's plan, including "ensuring that everyone in Australia has adequate housing," and "preventing and ending homelessness." This reflects the legislation's human rights-based approach.

The legislation would also require the housing minister to be collaborative and establish some new sources of information and advice for government. This includes a "consumer council," including people with experience of homelessness. This would operate alongside the existing National Housing Supply and Affordability Council: an independent group providing the government with expert advice. The consumer council would be able to escalate matters directly to the minister to ensure it's heard.

The existing government agency Housing Australia would be nominated as the lead agency assisting the minister with the plan. A new government officer, the National Housing and Homelessness Advocate, would independently investigate housing policy issues and monitor the progress against the plan. The housing minister would also be required to periodically report to parliament on progress.

At the end of the ten years, the minister would be required to review and develop a new plan.

Importantly, it would still be for the government of the day to decide what's in the plan. The legislation sets objectives and directions, but not policy details. The legislation does not say, for example, "thou shalt repeal negative gearing"! One government might devise a more market-orientated plan, while another might plan for greater non-market housing provision.

[...] The bill formally recognizes housing as a human right for two reasons.

First, it serves as the constitutional basis for the legislation. The right to adequate housing is a human right under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which Australia ratified almost 50 years ago.

This brings it within the parliament's "external affairs" power. The parliament relied on this power and the human right to housing when it passed the original legislation establishing the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (now Housing Australia). Basically, it gives the government the legal authority to make such a plan.

Secondly, an effective plan that's going to work across different policy areas and bring in the range of institutions needs a place to start. Human rights provides a way to organize the policy across all the different branches of government that need to be involved.


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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday July 09, @02:38PM (28 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 09, @02:38PM (#1363550) Journal

    Here in the US, government provides an awful lot of "low income housing", or "projects". From my experience in construction, I can pretty confidently say that much, or even most, of that housing is pretty well constructed. The homes aren't horrid, they are actually quite adequate. But, much like apartments and rental properties anywhere, the residents have no equity in the homes, and don't do much, if anything, to ensure that the homes are maintained. Worse, the criminal element seems to gravitate toward those low income housing properties. As a sixteen year old kid, I watched the construction of one of those projects, I watched the grand opening, then I watched the news reports of copper being ripped out to be sold at the junk yard. It took about five years for the project to take on a run down ghetto appearance, despite what seemed reasonable efforts by government to maintain the homes. There were plenty of news articles of vandals simply destroying stuff, with no possible profit motive.

    Having watched that process pretty close-up, I have to ask what level of housing can be considered a "right"? Does the "right to housing" begin with a bare concrete slab, bare concrete walls, and a couple shatter proof windows with a door? That's pretty indestructible, but it seems more like a barn for livestock than a home. On the plus side, such housing is dang near fireproof! Or, is there some level of - shall we call it "luxury" - that must be met?

    If a government establishes a right to housing, I do NOT envy them the task of setting standards. Or, the task of enforcing standards, however high or low those standards may be.

    Note that this is not a comment on homelessness in general. I am only pointing out that some people are going to destroy whatever you offer them.

    It may sound harsh and cruel, but I can't help wondering if some poeple really deserve nothing more than a patch of bare ground down by the river, where they can pitch a tent. If they can find the wherewithal to acquire a tent.

    --
    We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by edinlinux on Tuesday July 09, @02:58PM (3 children)

    by edinlinux (4637) on Tuesday July 09, @02:58PM (#1363552)

    Basically built like a prison, but being able to go in and out of it freely.

    You get a concrete room with a bed, desk, toilet, shower, sink and stove, fridge and AC built indestructibly, like in jails.

    Thats it, its the bare minimum, and if you want to go up from there, get a job..etc

    For criminality, that is a different issue I'm afraid, as dealing with effectively with criminal elements Singapore style in western countries will just get the enforcement labeled as 'racist' (even though usually its not) and cancelled. I have no idea what the solution to that is, society needs to accept things as they actually are and society is just not ready to do that yet..

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday July 09, @05:43PM (2 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday July 09, @05:43PM (#1363570)

      Denmark has effectively had a basic right to housing for a long long time now.

      https://www.spur.org/news/2022-08-31/housing-for-everyone-the-danish-way [spur.org]

      Back in the 1980s near Copenhagen there was a large community of "tiny houses" each with a TV (aerial reception antenna outside) heat, bed, bathroom, and a basic kitchen.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, @01:24AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, @01:24AM (#1363603)
        Education and culture there might be different.

        If too many people are crap, it doesn't matter how well the houses are built. You might have difficulty building the houses in the first place - the people involved might all be trying to figure out ways to siphon money away whether legally or illegally - so the project takes years longer, costs more etc.

        How to have fewer crap people while still preserving freedoms? That could be a difficult problem but I suspect that many parents do want to do a good job raising children but can't. So perhaps the government should take advantage of known science-based education stuff, and taxpayer money (better to pay for this than pay more for prisons?), etc to help such parents out.

        It's not concrete that's the foundation of a country but its people.
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday July 10, @05:59PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday July 10, @05:59PM (#1363669)

          Absolutely it's the people, but if you read the article: Denmark actively mixes their socioeconomic classes, rich and poor (and every other contrast) in the same neighborhoods. That goes a long way toward erasing "fear of going over there" and of believing that certain behaviors are acceptable in your own neighborhood. The US made a half-hearted effort at school busing, which went a very long way toward eroding racism (at its root: fear of people of a different color), but lately school integration is looking more and more like Trump's cabinet: one token black guy just to prevent people saying it's all white.

          Some people can maintain a nice home without stainless steel toilets and poured concrete walls. They get to live in those neighborhoods they choose. People who don't learn how to maintain themselves in "polite company" houses will find themselves with progressively fewer choices in housing, but even then just because they end up in a "high strength / low maintenance" structure doesn't mean they should be socially isolated in an island of only people who have their issues.

          > the people involved might all be trying to figure out ways to siphon money away whether legally or illegally - so the project takes years longer, costs more etc.

          In the US public housing is financed from a quiltwork of funding sources, many projects use up to 20 sources of financial support. In Denmark there is just one. Which method do you think takes years longer, costs more, and is more ripe for fraudulent use of the funds?

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Whoever on Tuesday July 09, @03:52PM

    by Whoever (4524) on Tuesday July 09, @03:52PM (#1363556) Journal

    Here in the US, government provides an awful lot of "low income housing", or "projects". From my experience in construction, I can pretty confidently say that much, or even most, of that housing is pretty well constructed.

    Back in the '50s and '60s (I think), in the UK, quote a lot of social housing was built. Much of it was brutalist tower blocks, but some of it, in smaller towns and cities, was developments of 2-storey duplexes (using US terminology here -- in the UK, they would be semi-detached houses). Those houses were built to higher standards than a typical privately built house. The rent was very much dependent on income, so the local authority could make a profit on the houses where the tenants had increased their income after qualifying for the social housing. Margaret Thatcher forced the sale of much of this housing, perhaps leading to the housing problems that are now endemic in the UK.

  • (Score: 3, Touché) by VLM on Tuesday July 09, @04:07PM

    by VLM (445) on Tuesday July 09, @04:07PM (#1363557)

    There were plenty of news articles of vandals simply destroying stuff, with no possible profit motive.

    A wide spectrum of gang violence.

  • (Score: 1) by shrewdsheep on Tuesday July 09, @04:58PM

    by shrewdsheep (5215) on Tuesday July 09, @04:58PM (#1363561)

    In mainland Europe, I believe, the model is to have a regular landlord/tenant relationship also for the low income houses. There is also explicit development of low income housing but that is done by private companies. Not that it's perfect but it seems to prevent that kind of tragedy of the commons.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Gaaark on Tuesday July 09, @05:02PM

    by Gaaark (41) on Tuesday July 09, @05:02PM (#1363562) Journal

    I am only pointing out that some people are going to destroy whatever you offer them.

    --Said the Earth to its' inhabitants

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Tokolosh on Tuesday July 09, @06:30PM (6 children)

    by Tokolosh (585) on Tuesday July 09, @06:30PM (#1363575)

    Any "right" that requires infringing the rights of others, is not a right.

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 09, @10:11PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 09, @10:11PM (#1363592)

      Any "right" that requires infringing the rights of others, is not a right.

      Haven't you been paying attention? Might makes rights.

      Are you saying that I can't use my right life by killing others? Fuck that.

      I'll kill you and your sons, then take your wife and daughters and impregnate them with my (obviously) superior seed.

      Don't like it? Too bad. You'll be dead, so what are you going to do about it? Nothing, that's what.

      So STFU.

    • (Score: 5, Touché) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday July 09, @11:36PM (4 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday July 09, @11:36PM (#1363597)

      What right do you have that is infringed upon by homeless being housed?

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by ChrisMaple on Wednesday July 10, @04:48AM (3 children)

        by ChrisMaple (6964) on Wednesday July 10, @04:48AM (#1363613)

        My right that is being violated is my right to my own property, property that is stolen from me to pay for somebody else's housing.

        Generally, the only proper function of government is to protect rights, and the only instance it is acceptable for a government to violate a person's rights is to protect an even more important right. The fundamental and highest right is the right to life, upon which all other rights depend. Note that the right to life means the right not to be prevented from living; it does not mean a right to have your life supported by others. This applies to adults.

        • (Score: 0, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, @11:47AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, @11:47AM (#1363633)

          My right that is being violated is my right to my own property, property that is stolen from me to pay for somebody else's housing.

          What "property" might that be? Taking your house? Your land? Ohhh..you mean taxes. Pay up you cheap bastard! Want to live in a civilized country? [quoteinvestigator.com] That's what taxes buy you, assshole.

          As for your "rights":

          “Ah, yes, the "unalienable rights." Each year someone quotes that magnificent poetry. Life? What "right" to life has a man who is drowning in the Pacific? The ocean will not hearken to his cries. What "right" to life has a man who must die if he is to save his children? If he chooses to save his own life, does he do so as a matter of "right"? If two men are starving and cannibalism is the only alternative to death, which man's right is "unalienable"? And is it "right"? As to liberty, the heroes who signed the great document pledged themselves to buy liberty with their lives. Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost. The third "right"? - the "pursuit of happiness"? It is indeed unalienable but it is not a right; it is simply a universal condition which tyrants cannot take away nor patriots restore. Cast me into a dungeon, burn me at the stake, crown me king of kings, I can "pursue happiness" as long as my brain lives - but neither gods nor saints, wise men nor subtle drugs, can insure that I will catch it.”

          ― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday July 10, @12:33PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday July 10, @12:33PM (#1363638)

          >My right that is being violated is my right to my own property, property that is stolen from me to pay for somebody else's housing.

          O.K. John G, let's just put you on your own tax-free continent and see how you do without any government services.

          >highest right is the right to life

          Yes, and h. sapiens: hairless apes, require shelter in most climates of the Earth or they will die. Most countries if you are prevented from having shelter, or the ability to fashion your own shelter due to the "property rights" of others, you will be dead within the year.

          Back "in the day" when h. sapiens could strike out from the village and make their own way in the woods, they could effectively build their own housing. Today that is impossible in most any country that enforces "quiet enjoyment" property rights for land owners, ergo: those land owners and their government are killing their homeless countrymen by denying them access to their land.

          Would you rather pay some (more) tax to house the homeless, or permit them to squat on your lawn in a tent?

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 2) by sjames on Thursday July 11, @03:05AM

          by sjames (2882) on Thursday July 11, @03:05AM (#1363719) Journal

          I (the generic I, I personally am doing OK) have the right to food. I can hunt for it, but you probably don't want me doing that in the neighborhood. If fact, it's illegal. So you owe me some other way. That could be enough decent paying jobs that are at least as respectful of me as a human being as hunting is combined with cheap enough groceries. Or it could be a free grocery store, or an adequate monthly check. Or you could drop the whole no hunting in the neighborhood and stop destroying wildlife habitat. Note, many areas also frown on keeping chickens and cows in the back yard or planting crops instead of lawn. Your choice.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 09, @07:48PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 09, @07:48PM (#1363580)

    It may sound harsh and cruel, but I can't help wondering if some poeple really deserve nothing more than a patch of bare ground down by the river, where they can pitch a tent. If they can find the wherewithal to acquire a tent.

    Except even that can be denied to folks, with a referral to "other accommodations" [npr.org], at least here in the US.

    Oh, and "referral to other accommodations" means being incarcerated, in case you were confused about that part.

    How does the old saw go again? A nation should be judged based on how it treats its weakest members.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Tuesday July 09, @10:11PM (7 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday July 09, @10:11PM (#1363593)

    Some numbers I think are relevant here:
    A. Number of homeless people in Australia on any given night, per Australia government study: ~120,000.
    B. Monthly rent in Australia, per analysis by Forbes: $2600.
    C. Number of vacant homes in Australia on any given night, per Australia government study: ~1,000,000.
    D. Cost to house every homeless person in Australia at the average rental price, for 1 year: A x B x 12 = ~$3.6 billion

    That's around half of the money allocated towards alleviating homelessness. And without building anything, and compensating owners at market rates.

    These kinds of numbers regularly show up when you look at the issue. The reason we have homelessness has a lot less to do with a lack of buildings, and more to do with businesses that own buildings trying to hoard them to force rents up.

    --
    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by ChrisMaple on Wednesday July 10, @05:06AM (5 children)

      by ChrisMaple (6964) on Wednesday July 10, @05:06AM (#1363614)

      I don't know about Australia, but in the U.S. one of the major causes of homelessness is the use of mind-degrading drugs. The drug use goes hand-in-hand with behavior that makes placing them in ordinary homes impossible. They'll trash the home.

      Look at it from an economic standpoint. As a rough rule of thumb, monthly rent for a house is a bit under 1% of the market value of the house. If that $2600/month rent is for a house worth $300,000, and the junkie destroys it within a year, the owner is out $268,800.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Thexalon on Wednesday July 10, @11:12AM (2 children)

        by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday July 10, @11:12AM (#1363629)

        OK, so which plan do you have for dealing with that: Put them in a rehab facility (which they or their family can't pay for), or are you suggesting that the way you deal with that is to hope that they die as quickly as possible?

        Another factor that I'm reasonably sure you are ignoring: According to a lot of people who study this stuff, a lot of street junkies weren't junkies when they wound up on the street, and turned to drugs as the only available relief for the problems that come from living on the streets.

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday July 10, @07:07PM (1 child)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday July 10, @07:07PM (#1363681)

          >the way you deal with that is to hope that they die as quickly as possible?

          This is at the root of a lot of social services arguments. Whether it's housing, healthcare, rehab, disabilities services, special needs education, or whatever - the first question that should be asked and answered is: "are we just going to shoot them to put them out of our misery?" If you answer no, then the vast majority of arguments against funding for services must be directed at making their lives as miserable - and expensive - as possible.

          This is easily explained if those arguing against social services need to have a population they are "better than" so they can feel better about themselves.

          Personally, I'd rather be taken out and shot than tortured and ridiculed for decades, but since we mostly don't go for mercy killings: it's both more humane, and cheaper, to invest in social services at the root causes of need than it is to deny that funding and then deal with the tortured bodies and souls that result from such lack of funding.

          Paying $8000 per year for basic shelter plus $2000 per year for a social worker to come check on a previously homeless person is 10x cheaper than fixing healthcare problems that never would have happened if they had shelter, dealing with them in the criminal justice system because they can't hold a job, and the loss of productivity from them spending all their time dealing with being homeless. So, reducing the above argument further: homeless don't die 10x faster, only about 2x faster than people who have consistent reliable shelter, so overall you might expect to save 80% of the cost of the homeless by simply providing them shelter in the first place.

          https://community.solutions/research-posts/the-costs-and-harms-of-homelessness/ [community.solutions]

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday July 11, @02:33AM

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Thursday July 11, @02:33AM (#1363717) Journal

            And thus you've uncovered the basis of "conservative" "thought" on the subject: they will pay more, and actively harm themselves, so long as "those people" suffer more. I am really mystified as to how anyone with two functioning brain cells can't see this about them.

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, @11:55AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, @11:55AM (#1363634)

        I don't know about Australia, but in the U.S. one of the major causes of homelessness is the use of mind-degrading drugs. The drug use goes hand-in-hand with behavior that makes placing them in ordinary homes impossible. They'll trash the home.

        Except that ain't true. Here's some actual data [nationalhomeless.org] for you, rather than what you pulled out of your ass.

        Don't take my word (or the particular study I linked above) for it either. Go and find the data for yourself. And you'll see you're talking out of your ass. And it stinks!

        But I won't hold my breath, as you don't want facts or data, you just want your trained-in prejudices to taken for the laws of nature. Which makes you narrow-minded and foolish enough to spout the ridiculous (and more importantly, unsupported by facts or evidence) bullshit you're going on about.. You probably even believe it. And for that, I pity you.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday July 10, @06:55PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday July 10, @06:55PM (#1363678)

        >in the U.S. one of the major causes of homelessness is the use of mind-degrading drugs.

        Myth: Most people experiencing homelessness have a substance use and/or mental health disorder.

        Fact: While rates of homelessness for people with severe mental health or substance use disorders are high, the majority of people with no home also have no mental health or substance use disorder. Furthermore, the large majority of Americans with mental health or substance use disorders do not experience homelessness, demonstrating that mental health and substance use disorders do not cause homelessness.

        https://www.usich.gov/guidance-reports-data/data-trends [usich.gov]

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday July 10, @07:21PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday July 10, @07:21PM (#1363684)

      >more to do with businesses that own buildings trying to hoard them to force rents up.

      Yep. The free market is anything but free.

      Now, even in your direct rental scheme, toss another 25% on top for social workers to manage homeless placement and the occasional issues that will come up, but that really should be all it takes.

      The trick is in convincing the owners of vacant properties to offer them up for rent, and convincing the homeless to accept placement where properties are available.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
  • (Score: 2) by bussdriver on Wednesday July 10, @04:23PM

    by bussdriver (6876) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 10, @04:23PM (#1363661)

    Better to setup the mandate in law THEN find the best implementations over time.

    1 solution isn't best for everybody.

    Some people are angry at society and take it out on the government, some shoot children/schools which is the ultimate statement against the society. I'd rather they get away trashing government housing. I think biometric IDs should be required and people rated on their treatment of government housing. If you deserve a prison-cell like indestructible place that is what you'll get. Along with some kind of punching bag that is cheap to replace. Hell, it could be a test/decoy that gets you a bad rating in the 1st place. Some opportunity to improve the place could be another test, a way to dig yourself back out again... could be maintenance jobs given to people within the housing system.

    Also, you shouldn't have to be proven in court to be guilty of the damage. If you want to avoid blame, then you fix the damage (unless there is clear proof who did it and it's not you.)

  • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday July 12, @01:37AM (2 children)

    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Friday July 12, @01:37AM (#1363846) Homepage Journal

    It may sound harsh and cruel

    It certainly does. Did you have a mother?

    There were no homeless when I was young, but civilized countries had a living wage as a minimum wage.

    There were also no billionaires.

    --
    mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
    • (Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Friday July 12, @03:09AM (1 child)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12, @03:09AM (#1363852) Journal

      There were no homeless when I was young,

      Really? https://www.pond5.com/stock-footage/item/143853306-1940s-group-homeless-men-eat-soup-kitchen-salvation-army-san [pond5.com] You and I aren't that far apart in age. When I was a child, a homeless man was referred to as a hobo, or a bum, or a tramp, generally in a derogatory manner. I didn't see many such people, but now and then I did meet a tramp down by the railroad tracks. I never did see a hobo camp. As a kid, I thought the idea of a hobo camp was really cool, and would have jumped at the chance to visit one. Of course, western Pennsylvania's climate and weather would be inhospitable to homeless, in general. It wasn't until the mid-70s when I got to San Diego, and started meeting homeless people. Of course, none of them were as interesting as I had previously thought hobos to be.

      In short, I think you are mistaken. I believe that there have always been homeless people in the United States, starting with runaway slaves and bond servants.

      --
      We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Saturday July 13, @06:48PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday July 13, @06:48PM (#1363995) Homepage Journal

        Hoboes, tramps, and bums were depression-era, and a hobo or a tramp was offended by the term "bum," a bum was a beggar. Hoboes and tramps are shown as those who wanted travel and refused handouts.

        What I should have said was that I saw my first bum at age 23 in California, a hippie I bought lunch for. Not homeless, his commune buddies would collect twenty bucks a day, a lot in the 1970s. It was this century before I saw any more beggars or homeless people, and there are encampments of them everywhere now.

        And a video of a soup kitchen shows poverty. It doesn't necessarily show homelessness. There was no SNAP or food stamps until 1964, and then you had to be unemployed to get food stamps. Now you have to work to get food assistance, making it welfare for the wealthy, who no longer are forced to pay a living wage for full-time work.

        However, I'm sure there was a lot of homelessness before WWII, especially before 1900.

        --
        mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org