Long term residents surrounding Turner Field (a 67 acre area that has been purchased by Carter Development and Georgia State University) are concerned about gentrification and mass deportation. They marched and set up a tent city at Turner Field twenty-something days ago. I got an email from OccupyYourHomes.org and here is my responding email to them.
Gentrification cannot take place if you own a home of your choice. That is why I've been saying that exclusionary zoning has to end. In my homeowner's association they have a minimum square foot restriction of 1,200 square feet. As long as a home is not a threat to anyone's health or safety then it should not be prohibited. I moved from Farmington Hills, MI back in June 2009 after I lost my job and decided to just retire. In Farmington Hills they say your home has to be at least 24 feet wide and conform to existing housing. So I spent 18 years in a mobile home park. The park raised the lot RENT on average just over 5% a year. If you are renting anything or paying a 30 year mortgage then you are getting screwed. You just need the simple freedom to live in a home of your own choosing and not someone else's choosing. You simply need the freedom to spend your money as you see fit and not as someone else sees fit. It is crazy to have to buy something so expensive that it takes you 30 years to pay for it.
Now there are still property taxes to pay so they could assess your property (the land) to be very high. But property taxes are always cheaper than rent. At least if the land became very valuable then you could sell and get that money. It would be a lot harder for them to dislodge you with higher property taxes because everyone else would also see the property tax increase as well. Also you could sell part of your land and only keep enough to live on. My lot in the mobile home park was 26 feet wide and 60 feet long. I would actually need a little wider plot so I could run a driveway the length of my home which is 14 feet X 52 feet. But I sure don't need a quarter acre lot. Your problem is that you are probably renting or trying to abide by some expensive exclusionary zoning regulations. You simply need the freedom to own a home of your own choosing. Restrictions for the health and safety of the community at large are OK. So mandating that you hook up to municipal water and sewer is reasonable. If you want to have solar panels and a house battery then that should be OK.
Your group should go to court to defend your constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Shelter is a necessity of life. So you should be free to be happy in a home of your own choosing. PERIOD. That means any restrictions against your freedom to choose your own home should be struck down. Consider my example of mandating that a home must have a minimum of 1,200 square feet. There is nothing wrong with a home that only has 500 square feet. I lived in a 300 square foot apartment in Ypsilanti, Michigan for 13 years. Similarly why does a home have to be at least 24 feet wide and conform to existing housing? There is nothing wrong with a home that is only 14 feet wide. I hope that is clear to you. I've been writing about the need to end exclusionary zoning since 2010 at http://jamesrherman.newsvine.com/ Thanks and good luck.
Pool your resources and please pursue this in court. The small house movement could do wonders for Detroit, for example, and for many, many cities and all of America. Exclusionary zoning is financial slavery. It creates poverty, concentrates poverty and perpetuates poverty. PLEASE, PLEASE take this to court. I've laid it out very clearly for you. This is something anyone and everyone should be able to understand. If someone wants to argue with me then I say, if you don't believe in our constitution, or the golden rule or have any common sense then I can't help you. The golden rule says treat people the way you want to be treated. Continuing with my minimum square foot example. We don't tell people that their home cannot exceed 1,200 square feet (the golden rule). So we shouldn't be telling them that their home cannot be less than 1,200 square feet. And we don't tell people that their home has to be exactly 1,200 square feet (that would defy common sense). Again, please pool your resources and take this to court all the way to the US Supreme Court.
Obama had 8 years to take this on. All he wanted to do was get you a lower rate on your mortgage. You shouldn't have to sign up for 30 years of debt slavery just to get shelter. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren won't take up this issue either. People such as yourself need to take up this issue. Please do it. You can keep camping out if you want but ending exclusionary zoning should be your goal. You may still have to move from where you are at now but once you buy some land and place a home on that land you should never have to move again. Or you could pool your resources and buy some land right where you are now and live on small pieces of that land, mobile home park style. But it doesn't have to be a mobile home. It can be any small home. OK?
If something happened to my singlewide then I'd like to get a small cabin from http://amishcabincompany.com. These cabins are 100% white pine and you can get one delivered to you for $32,000. Or you can get a kit for $22,500 and build it yourself. You could make it a group project right where your tents are and then later move it to some land. The cabins are 14 feet wide and are moved on flatbed trucks much like a car is moved on a flatbed truck. Check out their web site. That would get you publicity and be a demonstration of what you want. Just like the pioneers who first lived here built log cabins. That means no formaldehyde, unlike manufactured housing. I've already applied epoxy-coat to all my floors and am in the process of applying 'amazing goop' epoxy to the ceiling and the walls. The formaldehyde is in the glue. OSB (oriented strand board) is strands of wood and glue pressed into a sheet of wood. They had one version for the floor and another version for the sidewall sheathing and also for the roof decking. So my singlewide is literally a formaldehyde trap. All I can do now is create a vapor barrier from the inside. I have a fresh air heat recovery ventilator. You will always need ventilation for a small home. Remember the FEEMA trailers after hurricane Katrina? They also had a formaldehyde problem. And it's not just OSB. Even cheap plywood has it. You might be able to seal it with a coat of polyurethane. I applied a coat of polyurethane to every visible piece of woodwork in my singlewide. The kitchen cabinets and counters were made of MDF (medium density fiberboard). MDF is sawdust and glue. It's cheaper than even OSB. But they both have formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen. They should just ban formaldehyde from building products, period. Good Luck.