Suburban office parks and shopping malls have a few things in common. They are dying, but they have roofs, HVAC, and running water—Aka, housing.
Politicians continue to try and solve multiple issues, but if they can solve one big one, they will be applauded as a success. The biggest one is housing. The lack of housing leaves a trail of issues, including crime and huge Government expenses.
I continue to write about this because it is a fundamental foundation for many of our society’s problems. Can you imagine if the cities built gorgeous housing combined with social programs, groceries, and medical care facilities on all the properties that they own sitting vacant? Two decades from now, the cost of homeless, emergency room care and all the other programs that are defensively paying daily to treat those without homes would change dramatically. Why can’t we think long term?
What needs to get passed to get real estate owners of suburban office parks and shopping malls to want to make the changes necessary to create housing? It is only one thing, tax breaks.
It might seem insane to give owners of these large pieces of property tax breaks, but the reality is most of them are happy just to let those properties sit and rot until it makes financial sense. Housing is getting worse by the day in urban cities. As those who can’t afford to live in their town of choice and move to less affordable areas, those areas will soon see the same problems. Jobs that don’t pay enough to afford the least expensive place to hang their hat. The cycle continues.
Housing is about wage and equality. It used to be the great American dream to own your home. Now it is just another asset class. We must preserve housing to keep the economy afloat, especially in urban areas.
It is time for some creative tax breaks for innovative housing inside buildings with all the necessary equipment.