OPINION: Where is the humanity?

DEAR News Of The Area,

THERE is no doubt that we are all very well aware that we are living through a housing crisis.

And if we accept that we are ‘all’ aware, then this includes all of us from the top of the socio-economic ladder to the bottom.

There are those of us who are fortunate enough, not only to own our own home, but to own others.

One might argue that such is their right in a democracy where they have arrived at this point through hard work, inheritance, or good fortune.

Fair enough.

But how far does such a fortunate person’s social responsibility extend?

Of course nobody expects them to give their superfluous away.

Equally, it might be considered a step too far to expect a landlord to charge considerably less than the housing market dictates is reasonable.

After all, that superfluous property may be subject to a mortgage.

However, I don’t think that any reasonable person that is mindful of the current humanitarian crisis could morally withdraw a property from the housing market to place on the short-term accommodation market (platforms like Airbnb).

To do so is to deny someone all of the dignity and opportunity that comes from having a residence – a place to call home.

But they do.

And if such a terrible thing happens to Joe or Josephine average, it can be one of the most extremely difficult times of their lives.

But now let us take that thought one step further.

What if the evicted part is not Joe or Josephine Average?

A friend of mine is a 90-year-old single man.

He is in the final few pages of the book that is his life.

He was recently given 90 days notice to vacate.

This would be hard enough if he was 30, or 40, or 50, but at 90 it is devastating.

It is stressors like this that push up the suicide rate in older single persons.

A little investigation reveals that the landlord wants to take advantage of the short-term accommodation market to make more money.


Where is the common humanity?

May you choke on your Chardonnay.


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