‘Unsustainable housing meets unsustainable finance’

February 5, 2008 at 1:44 pm 2 comments

monopolyhouses.jpg(Jon) Triple Pundit gives its view on the “sub-prime meltdown,” and it says it’s simply too many people buying too much house with too little money. Look at the areas hardest hit by the sub-prime collapse:

“Subdivisions built on the edges of urban areas where once arable land is bulldozed to make way for over-sized, energy-intensive houses, with landscaping consisting (of) grassy yards adorned with non-native species of trees and shrubs, the whole lot of it out of character with the natural surroundings and located so that most residents are forced to drive miles and miles to get to work, for too often there is no public transportation available.”

As they commented over at TreeHugger:

“Houses that need too much energy to heat or cool, too much gas to get to, and too much money to pay for. No wonder people are walking away.”

What lessons do the sub-prime collapse teach us? Is it too simple to say that this proves that lust really is a deadly sin after all?

Related: Atlantic Monthly’s article “There Goes The Neighborhood.” Hat tip: The Next American City blog. Photo by t taudigani via stock.xchng.

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Entry filed under: Cul-de-sac culture, Jon Swerens, Neighborhoods. Tags: , , , .

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2 Comments

  • 1. Jeff  |  February 6, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Yes, it’s true that many people in this situation with the subprime mortgages bit off more than they could chew and are in trouble because of it but I am worried that the suburb is getting too much negative press now.

    We love our suburb and bought at a reasonable price with an actual cash down payment and read/understood the terms of our loan.

    The problem isn’t with the suburb, it’s with people borrowing money and making promises to pay loans that they can’t afford. Of course, now these same people want the goverment to bail them out of their mess. Is lack of accountability a sin? Or blaming others for their mistakes?

    Our neighborhood may be “out of character” but we can afford it and are not a drain on the taxpayer of this country who must fund the irresponsible actions of others…

  • 2. Adam  |  February 12, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    There are two distinct issues here; sub-prime and suburbia.

    Although they both stem from greed, the sub-prime issue deals more with economic irresponsibility whereas the foundations of suburbia deal with social and environmental irresponsibility.

    But hey, what’s new in America?


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