Fiscal Cliff Repair: Housing

How do we fix our economy? FIX HOUSING! I’ll say it again, FIX HOUSING! Wait,

let me say it louder, so you can all hear me, and they can hear me in Washington DC: FIX HOUSING! I always try to write the facts, and report on issues without any bias or affiliation. But these are historic times, and I will share my humble, two-cent solution to anyone who will listen (or read).

Fiscal Cliff

Can you think of another industry that tethers all other industries so much? Nope. Stimulate housing, and let me just list a few of the other businesses that will grow also: banking, accounting, lending, insurance, title work, surveyors, utilities, real estate sales, rentals, home inspection, pest control, and termite inspections, to name just a few. Construction and home improvement has to be broken down by itself into all its subcategories, including, but not limited to, general contracting, roofs, painting, paving, flooring, electrical, plumbing, furniture, appliances, windows, doors, siding, air conditioning, heating, insulation, solar, landscaping, tree trimming, irrigation, window treatments, hurricane protection, and I could go on and on. Then let’s take a look at personal property, the things people buy to decorate their homes. Also, how about when people do their own repairs and improvements, and the purchases they make to do that, and what industries they stimulate. Ask yourself a question: Do you make a living either directly or indirectly in one of these industries? The answer is probably yes.

When I say fix housing, I mean it will make cash registers ring and new jobs will be created in all the industries mentioned here, and more, which in turn will increase the GDP rate, which will pay down the debt, get people off extended unemployment, secure entitlements, allow for careful reduction of wasteful government spending, increase tax revenues for governments large and small, restore consumer confidence, and restore hope to the corporate community, which will in turn give them the confidence to spend their trillions in cash reserves, investing in their companies, buying hardware and software, creating new jobs, hiring new employees, and buying everything they need to grow. I could go on and on how the ripple effect of repairing housing will save our economy, but by now THAT SHOULD BE OBVIOUS! (Yes, as I am typing this I am screaming it!)

Also, fix housing and communities will be healed in many ways, helping to lift the financial burden of those homeowners within those communities that have been carrying the load for their vacant, deadbeat, and non-dues-paying homes and members. Lenders can take back those properties finally, and become dues-paying, responsible members of those communities.

I have no love at all for lenders and mortgage holders that have deliberately delayed their moral obligation to foreclose homes and condominiums in a timely manner, regardless of whether there is equity or not, which deserves its own conversation. But I digress. Just to say that this process would allow responsible homeowners in condominium associations, HOA communities, and other community associations (our audience here at more money in their pockets to make cash registers ring elsewhere.

To those who say, wait just a minute, housing got us into this mess, I say … it is ironic, isn’t it? But I say, it wasn’t housing that was the problem, because we all need it, that and food and clothing. It was the greed and corruption of people that took advantage of the system for their personal gain that were the fault, not housing. Housing is a need, not a luxury. It can be an anchor … a lead weight that drowns us, or a lifeboat that saves us. Either way, we MUST deal with it.

You’ve heard all the talk about December 21, 2012, and the end-of-time calendars? Well, the tsunami wave, the celestial event, the signs from heaven may or may not come, but our economic ruin may come instead. Many are looking for signs of “the end of days.” Well, unless we FIX HOUSING, it may mean the end of a lot of things we have come to think we are entitled to in this great land of ours. Fixing housing isn’t just a way, it is the only real, lasting, credible way out of this mess we got ourselves into. It is politically neutral, it has facts to prove it works, it has the best bang for our buck, it is secure, it is long lasting, it is predictable, and it is something we and they can all agree on.

That’s what I think, anyway.

Ken Kmet
About the Author

Ken Kmet is the owner of Condo Voice in Clearwater, Florida, a web portal for the community association industry.