Just be richer

Criminalizing poverty is the hot new thing, which is especially fun at a time when wages at least in the US have been deliberately held down while housing costs skyrocket. A town near Kansas City has just voted to make it illegal to share housing.

On Monday, a Johnson County city unanimously voted to ban a living arrangement aimed at helping tenants decrease the amount of rent they pay.

The Shawnee City Council voted 8-0 to ban co-living, becoming among the first Kansas City area municipalities to prevent the practice, which has gained popularity in recent years as rent and home prices have soared.

The new ordinance defines a co-living group as a group of at least four unrelated adults living together in a dwelling unit. The ordinance stated that if one adult is unrelated to another adult, then the entire group will be classified as unrelated.

In other words a roommate/housemate type situation – a shared apartment or house. No no, you can’t do that, you have to rent your own apartment, which costs more money than you earn. Good luck!

Remind us what the US minimum wage is? $7.25 an hour. When was it last raised? July 2009. What have housing costs done since then? Gone straight up like the Saturn 5.

Kansas City is probably cheaper than Seattle, but that’s not saying much. Renting an apartment on the minimum wage isn’t going to leave much for the other minor details of life such as eating food.

The practice, which includes things like sharing a kitchen, living room and community areas, started to gain popularity as rental and housing prices continued to increase across the United States.

While wages stagnated. Don’t forget that part. At least at the bottom end they did. I don’t know, maybe the tech lords pay their people better, but Amazon warehouse workers don’t make the big bucks.

“Co-living has become increasingly popular because of its cost effectiveness and greater flexibility in cities where rents are high for young professionals,” The Washington Post wrote in 2019.

Hi, guess what, it’s not just the “young professionals,” it’s also and much more the non-professionals of all ages.

The City Council’s vote came despite a presentation from a Johnson County organization where a housing study showed that the average home price in the county rose 37% from 2017-2021, climbing from $324,393 to $443,700. The study also showed that wages did not rise at that same rate.

To put it mildly.

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