In the first part of this entry, I talked about how the oil boom and the economic upswing in the area has affected those on low and/or fixed incomes. I am now going to add two links that will put a human face on this problem for you. One family lives in a storage room and an elderly mother and daughter live in their van.
There are many, many more out there who are affected by this price-gouging. That is exactly what this has come to. Even hotels/motels are over-priced in this area and if you don’t believe me, check out the rates for them–and if you’re planning to travel to the East via I-20, go to places like Big Spring, Colorado City, Sweetwater and Abilene to spend the night. It will blow your mind how much cheaper the fees run in those towns for the same chains, that’s for sure.
It is bad enough that FEMA is bringing trailers in. Seriously people, how much worse does it need to get before this nation enacts laws that prevent this type of behavior? I’m sure if the books were audited, they’d find that many aren’t even reporting the actual earnings from this price gouging as well. I think a special investigator needs to be brought in on this with regard to the rental management practices of the two companies that own all the apartments in the area.
This problem has affected single parent families, minorities, women and the elderly and if that is not reason enough for the federal government to step in and stop this form of housing discrimination in its tracks, I do not know what is. Most people affected by this make $35K (working families with children) or are on a fixed income. They should be able to afford the rent, but cannot.
An actor pointed out to me that most countries in the civilized world have enacted laws to prevent this type of behavior. Well why haven’t we? This is not an issue for politicians to come here to make empty promises to people who are in desperate need either. We don’t need more of that. We need leaders who will take up the mantle and force those who are doing this to these people to do the right thing. Winter is coming and I can assure you that the emergency rooms will be full of patients with all kinds of illnesses thanks to these profiteers.
To the ACLU: Where are you? To the U.S. Attorney General’s Office: Where are you? To those who should be leaders heralding the march to do the right thing: WHERE ARE YOU? To the International Media: WHERE ARE YOU?