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Fri Aug 5, 2022, 07:45 PM

We've been living in a tent for 5 months because we couldn't afford our $1,200 rent. Now we're prepa

preparing for winter in Maine.

This as told to essay is based on a conversation with Lauren Bahre. It has been edited for length and clarity.

I used to work at a hair salon in our small resort town in Maine. Wealthy clients would talk away about the second home they'd recently purchased nearby.

They'd say that they wanted a blowout before having dinner at some fancy restaurant. I'd think, "I'm going home to a bowl of cereal."

My husband, Benji, and I live in a tent. And as we head toward winter, we're increasingly worried about being homeless.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/we-ve-been-living-in-a-tent-for-5-months-because-we-couldn-t-afford-our-1-200-rent-now-we-re-preparing-for-winter-in-maine/ar-AA10mch3

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Reply We've been living in a tent for 5 months because we couldn't afford our $1,200 rent. Now we're prepa (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Friday OP
XanaDUer2 Friday #1
everyonematters Friday #2
Yavin4 Friday #18
niyad Friday #20
NullTuples Yesterday #32
CurtEastPoint Friday #3
Johnny2X2X Friday #4
Delphinus Friday #5
IrishAfricanAmerican Friday #6
niyad Friday #21
Diamond_Dog Friday #7
bluedigger Friday #8
erronis Friday #9
LisaM Friday #10
shrike3 Yesterday #28
Roisin Ni Fiachra Yesterday #31
markie Friday #11
grantcart Friday #19
MerryBlooms Friday #23
Auggie Friday #12
Joinfortmill Friday #13
Warpy Friday #14
Sogo Friday #15
LT Barclay Friday #16
niyad Friday #22
calimary Friday #17
phylny Friday #24
infullview Yesterday #25
shrike3 Yesterday #27
infullview Yesterday #29
shrike3 Yesterday #30
shrike3 Yesterday #26

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 07:54 PM

1. Disgusting nt

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 07:56 PM

2. Affordable housing is a big problem in this country.

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Response to everyonematters (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 10:35 PM

18. Largely due to poor city planning and design

In most of the country, it's illegal to build anything other than single family homes which cuts out small apartment complexes, town homes, mutli family dwellings, etc.

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Response to everyonematters (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 10:43 PM

20. LACK of affordable housing, and LACKof will to address same.

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Response to everyonematters (Reply #2)

Sat Aug 6, 2022, 11:10 AM

32. Real estate became a speculator's playground + rentals

In so many markets, it comes down to investor groups or banks bidding against each other. And since the property will go into an ever-growing rental portfolio they can afford to go above asking and outbid individuals. Then, to provide an adequate return on their investment, they raise rents and cut costs. They also bundle - remember that term from the mortgage meltdown? - rental portfolios into speculative investment vehicles.

A simple solution would be to strictly manage rentals, including prohibiting housing from being used as a gambling hall by investment institutions.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 07:59 PM

3. SO PROUD of our country. NOT.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 08:01 PM

4. People think it can't happen to them

It can happen to almost anyone.

That being said, they make $2400 a month. Hopefully they’re saving most of it up for a place. They’re living very very cheaply so they should be able to save some. But maybe they have debt they’re paying off.

A mistake I see people make is when they’re in a home and not paying rent or their mortgage and waiting to be evicted, they fail to save up the money they would be paying for their home. Foreclosure can take years, if you know it’s inevitable, put money away that you would be paying for your home.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 08:04 PM

5. Oh my ...

Seriously, there has to be a way to help folks like them. They are not the only ones - they were lucky, though, to be able to tell their story.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 08:09 PM

6. This is America.

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Response to IrishAfricanAmerican (Reply #6)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 10:45 PM

21. Exactly. The bestest, richest, most wonderfulest country in the world, the

"shining city on the hill".

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 08:14 PM

7. This is just so heartbreaking.

I’m at a loss for words.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 08:16 PM

8. Our social experiment of dehousing the working poor proceeds.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 08:55 PM

9. I'm dealing with several people I serve that are being evicted because of huge rent increases.

Too bad this article is behind a paywall, but I totally understand the problem.

Just wait when the living conditions in half of this country force everyone to move north to escape the heat and flooding.

Just wait for when climate change brings millions of refugees to the US in search of life - not some glorified American ideal, just life. Just the ability to live.

Unless the world and every country starts to deal with this in a actual way, we're on the the "Don't Look Up" trajectory. It will be in all of our backyards, soon!

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 09:01 PM

10. Airbnb is a big part of this issue.

It's completely dried up the long-term rental market. It seriously needs a lot more regulation.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #10)

Sat Aug 6, 2022, 07:59 AM

28. Bingo. You called it.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #10)

Sat Aug 6, 2022, 08:13 AM

31. +1

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 09:07 PM

11. didn't read the story...

although, I know... my daughter just started working for the Gov't, Kittery, ME and cannot find ANYTHING she can afford...

she is renting a room in a house for $850/month that is insane!!!

this is a serious problem

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Response to markie (Reply #11)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 10:37 PM

19. Sad story. Her mom evicted her

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Response to grantcart (Reply #19)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 10:53 PM

23. "Volatile situation"... I am wondering if there was violence

In the home and the mom decided enough was enough. Might be mom was being abused in some way, and decided to end the situation.

In any case, the lack of affordable housing in this country is criminal. Any time something is close to being passed in our area, neighbors throw shit fits and fight like hell to keep apartments out of their neighborhood. Then, scream bloody murder at community meetings about homeless folks, even threatening to shoot them if they feel threatened. Fires are a big problem in the camping areas, which means our neighborhood is at risk.

There's so much more that could be done. I drive by a Huge parking lot of small manufactured homes, small, but new and nice. I think they're government houses. All sitting there for almost a year and a half now. Open land, especially at the north end of the valley, owned and empty by a mill out there. Could be put to good use. That land has been empty for more than 50 years! Time to use it for something besides high fuel burn weeds for the next fire!

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 09:09 PM

12. Private equity, house flippers, investment groups ...

add to the problem.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 09:20 PM

13. This isn't right. I feel for this woman.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 09:55 PM

14. Winter palace, summer tent

That sounds just like coastal Mass. 50 years ago. People lived in tents, campers, garages, or shared a shack during the summer when the tourists flocked in. At the end of September, when it got chilly, they'd find places to house sit or with caretaker cottages or just about anything suitable for tourists 4 months out of the year. It was a fucking scramble every single year. Boats weren't an option, either, since they had to be pulled out of the water before it froze.

I imagine the tourist towns in Maine are exactly the same. I also imagine it's gotten much worse as Air BnB has moved into areas and taken any affordable places off the market completely.

This lady has a valuable skill and it's a portable one. I have to wonder why she's trapped in a tourist trap.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 10:18 PM

15. Both my parents grew up during the depression.

My mom's family had it worse: They lost their farm, and their house burned down. The family spent an Iowa winter in a tent, because grandpa couldn't start building a new house until the following spring.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 10:24 PM

16. OK, I never save references, so maybe someone can help confirm or correct my impressions from things

I have read related to this problem:
First, if I remember correctly 11% of existing housing is empty and there is a scramble to build more new housing for some reason.
Second, Foreign investors are driving up the prices of homes for purchase and for rent. They are being bundled into packaged investments which drives up the prices and all but guarantees a good return unless they manage to crash the economy and I'm sure the investment firms doing this are betting on it and will gain there as well.
So if these things are true, why is our government allowing foreign investors to exploit and impoverish us to make foreigners wealthy?
Is there a way to exclude real property from this kind of speculation?

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Response to LT Barclay (Reply #16)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 10:48 PM

22. John Oliver did a segment a while back on the mobile home industry. Appalling.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 10:32 PM

17. I hope we see more of these stories.

It may be the only way to motivate people to demand change.

Nobody should have no place to live! Is that what we are now, America?

How ‘bout you, “Christian America”? The Guy you supposedly worship didn’t have a home either.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 11:36 PM

24. I live in a resort town where retirees

have flocked to as well. Everyone complains that “nobody wants to work” and business es all have “help wanted” signs out yet opposed when an apartment complex was be being built and when “illegals” take jobs. Where will low-wage employees live and who will work if most people are retired with money and no need to work?

Complex is being built. I’ll be interested to see what they’re charging for rent.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Aug 6, 2022, 07:46 AM

25. Not sure I buy the whole story...

They were evicted by her own mother???!! The family is obviously dysfunctional, and these two individuals are more than likely Trumpy anti-vaxers. I grew up in central Maine, and I know what the economy of the state is all about - a lot of people are poor and make less than these two, but you can find rents in the country that are much more reasonable than $1800/mo. . A car is an absolute necessity if you live in the sticks, but if you have one you can manage to live with a roof over your head and put food on the table.

It's absolutely true that you can't work a low wage job and live in a resort town, but you can move away from there, find another place to be, and not be homeless.

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Response to infullview (Reply #25)

Sat Aug 6, 2022, 07:53 AM

27. It's tough to move if you have no money.

I've done it, moved more than a thousand miles, away from everyone I knew. It wasn't easy, but I had a job to go to. Moving somewhere simply because they might get a cheaper apartment isn't feasible for everyone.

Our system is Darwinian. If you're poor and make even one mistake, it's hard to get back on your feet.

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Response to shrike3 (Reply #27)

Sat Aug 6, 2022, 08:05 AM

29. You just described capitolism.

Which is Darwinian by nature. Nothing will change until we change to a better economic system. If only we had matter synthesizers a'la Star Trek. No one would go hungry, and money would be obsolete.

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Response to infullview (Reply #29)

Sat Aug 6, 2022, 08:08 AM

30. I'm more than aware I just described capitalism.


I'm extremely fortunate that it didn't swallow me up when I was younger.

Yeah, the matter synthesizers would solve a lot of things, wouldn't they?

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Aug 6, 2022, 07:51 AM

26. I can only speak regarding where I live. But no one here wants affordable housing.

Because it'll bring in black people. They won't say that, but that's what they mean.

If there's a development of any kind, they warn that it could end up a Section 8. Section 8 is code word for black. Doesn't matter how expensive the development is. Any development, they say, could wind up Section 8.

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