Foreclosures send homeless to tent city?

by McQ | December 23, 2007 12:45 pm

Uh, not exactly. Another classic of media dissembling.

The lede:[1]

Between railroad tracks and beneath the roar of departing planes sits “tent city,” a terminus for homeless people. It is not, as might be expected, in a blighted city center, but in the once-booming suburbia of Southern California.

The noisy, dusty camp sprang up in July with 20 residents and now numbers 200 people, including several children, growing as this region east of Los Angeles has been hit by the U.S. housing crisis.

The unraveling of the region known as the Inland Empire reads like a 21st century version of “The Grapes of Wrath,” John Steinbeck’s novel about families driven from their lands by the Great Depression.

As more families throw in the towel and head to foreclosure here and across the nation, the social costs of collapse are adding up in the form of higher rates of homelessness, crime and even disease.

Tent city. U.S. housing crisis. Grown from 20 to 200 residents. “The Grapes of Wrath”. Great depression. Foreclosure leads to higher rates of homelessness.

Or does it:

While no current residents claim to be victims of foreclosure, all agree that tent city is a symptom of the wider economic downturn. And it’s just a matter of time before foreclosed families end up at tent city, local housing experts say.

Or put another way, everything in the first few paragraphs is apparently a crock of crap.

It’s just a matter of times folks. They just have to show up there, because that fits the narrative so darn well.

Yes, foreclosures are up this year and we know why. But the Guardian article claims:

Nationally, foreclosures are at an all-time high. Filings are up nearly 100 percent from a year ago, according to the data firm RealtyTrac.

In fact, per RealtyTrac[2], they’re up 67.82% from last year but now trending down. In fact, the numbers for this November are down 10% from last November.

The Guardian further claims:

California ranks second in the nation for foreclosure filings — one per 88 households last quarter.

Actually, the figure, per RealtyTrac is one per 325 households for California, and that is 1.9 times the national average (one per every 617).

No one is arguing that there isn’t a housing crisis or that foreclosures are somehow a good thing. But this sort of slipshod and agenda driven “journalism” is just inexcusable.

And it is also another example of the great editing we’ve become accustomed too from the MSM. Nowhere in the Guardian article was this sort of information to be found:

“The 10 percent drop in November is the first double-digit monthly decrease we’ve seen since April 2006,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “This could indicate that foreclosure activity has topped out for the year, but the true test of whether this ceiling will hold will come at the beginning of next year — when we anticipate that a seasonal surge in foreclosure filings and another possible wave of resetting mortgages could place further pressure on the housing market. But if the trend of flat or decreasing foreclosure activity we’ve seen over the past three months continues in the first quarter, it would certainly bode well for 2008.”

Couldn’t have that show up if you’re trying to build a tent city, could you? Great job Dana Ford. And a hat tip to your editors as well.

UPDATE: Of course, dependable as dawn, the usual suspects[3] swallow the nonsense[4] hook-line-and-sinker and predictably blame it on Bush.

First published at QandO[5]. Please come visit us.

And Merry Christmas to all the RWN readers and especially John Hawkins. Thanks for the opportunity to guest blog here on Sundays.

  1. The lede::
  2. RealtyTrac:
  3. the usual suspects:
  4. swallow the nonsense:
  5. QandO:

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