To ensure that homeless “campers” have all the comforts they need, the very woke blue city of Portland is preparing a regulation to require all new homeowners to provide “rest spaces” for the homeless.
According to the Daily Wire:
The city’s “planning and sustainability commission,” which writes and enforces the city’s building codes, approved a change to building guidelines in November that would require new constuction [sic] to feature “opportunities to rest and be welcome” for those who do not number among that building’s residents or customers.
The requirement can be read a number of ways, but at least one member of the Portland planning and sustainability commission was clear to local reporters that the requirement is to the benefit of the city’s “unhoused,” who are often kicked off of private property for loitering, sleeping, or camping — as is (typically) a private property owner’s right.
“Just one of the realities of Portland right now is that we have a lot of folks who are unhoused who benefit from some of these spaces that provide weather protection,” she said when introducing the idea at a recent meeting.
Problem one is that this is an expropriation of private property. Inviting the homeless in to “rest” is inviting the homeless in to squat. And once squatting takes place, claims to ownership can follow, based on long held norms that property is possession. Too bad about the people who actually paid for the property.
Problem two is that it’s pretty insulting to the homeless. Instead of the city providing them with the housing and drug treatment many require, they get these private “rest spots” instead.
It’s also supremely ignorant of who the homeless are and what homeless dynamics are. Some homeless people are temporarily down on their luck. Some are driven to living in their cars based on NIMBY environmental regulations and high housing costs that don’t jibe with their earnings. Those are people who can be helped in far more dignified ways than “rest spots” on private property.
There are also “lifestyle” homeless, who have chronic drug, mental health, and drug-linked mental health issues who are very difficult to help because they won’t accept help. Typically, they gather around a drug dealer and set up camp. The rest spots can be new camps. And once in, they can be fiercely territorial. The new “rest spots” are likely to become battle grounds as these homeless seek to stake out new territory on private property. Sound like a place to build some new construction in? Lucky owners.
It almost sounds as if Portland’s insanely blue government is attempting to deputize the private sector to take on some of the city’s abundant homeless population in a bid to reduce stress on public spaces.