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Buyer Beware

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Editor:

"Trickle-down economics" still thrives in Humboldt County. One incumbent supervisor made the ludicrous claim that there's a shortage in large homes needed to attract professionals. ("Supervisors Square Off," April 26).

"Professionals" from the development industry, (calling themselves "job creators"), overstocked Humboldt County's inventory of big homes during the housing fraud and collapse of the 1980s and 2008, each time causing catastrophic local foreclosures and bankruptcies, part of the largest nationwide economic decline since the Great Depression. Chronic shortages in affordable housing inflate prices, making it easier to trick and trap families into larger homes they cannot retain. Each foreclosure generates lucrative fees, fines and profits, in effect, a predatory gold rush culminating in unprecedented decreases of owner-occupied homes. Nearly 50 percent of Humboldt County homes are now rentals inaccessible to many part-time, minimum wage workers, (see www.evictionlab.org).

Humboldt County's rural economy relies upon the economic security of residents. Consumer spending determines whether or not businesses hire or layoff employees. Unfortunately, speculators, land attorneys, developers, brokers, realtors, title companies, insurers and debt collector's benefit most when higher priced homes are planned, built, sold and repeatedly foreclosed, requiring complicity and cooperation from local government. For example, instead of acting in the public's interest by regulating the next looming housing fraud, supervisors appointed irresponsible members of the development industry to the planning commission; they unilaterally deregulated development through our county's General Plan and its Guiding Principles; allow slumlords and residential care facilities to build injurious housing empires and delayed declaration of an obvious housing crisis.

Rather than despairing over the corrupt developer occupying the White House, please reject our own developer-backed candidates.

George Clark, Eureka

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