To the editor:
There is no housing shortage in Florida, especially in S.W. Florida. I am sure the media knows that any (apparent) shortage is an artificial creation. We have a surplus of housing in the $200,000 range that is vacant, getting more rundown because of lack of upkeep. This serves as blight to most neighborhoods, especially Bonita, Estero, and S. Fort Myers.
Vice President Biden compared our airport situation to third world. I think that describes the condition I see when canvasing neighborhoods today. Banks are holding on to property as they have plenty of cash. So now they use their cash to finance new construction. This helps wealthy builders, developers, and real estate sales. This creates a cycle comparable to the pre-real estate collapse, when we sold lots for $50 a month, gave variable mortgages so developers, banks, and big business made money. Who got stuck? Well, the unsuspecting public got stuck. Many people living in these blighted conditions are waiting for economic conditions to improve and are being bypassed and do not realize it. There is little hope that conditions are going to improve for them unless our government takes some action.
Their only hope is that their neighborhood becomes so bad that all homes are razed and replaced by more expensive new developments. These will be out of affordable range for them.
I recall in 2010 when I was canvasing in these neighborhoods and saw the blighted 50 percent of homes were unoccupied. Today it seems like more are unoccupied. One of the ladies in my group was from a Baltic Country. When I made reference to the area as a community, she replied "This is no community."
I feel sorry for the residents. Many were afraid to answer their doors for fear of reprisal. I recall conversing with a few recently about health insurance and a common reference to the new health care law was "I don't want that stuff." This reflects their level of hurt, oppression, hate, and misinformation created by our outstanding oppressive Republican Political System.
These people need our help, not to be made continuous victims of our divisive party politicians, especially when it is only done to help the rich at the expense of the middle class.
Lewis Robinson, M.D.