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IPFS News Link • Homeless

The Discomforting Solution to Homelessness

•, by Jacob G. Hornberger

Unfortunately, however, all too many of them are not interested in adopting the solution to the problem, which is twofold: (1) repeal zoning laws and (2) repeal minimum-wage laws.

I grew up in Laredo, Texas, which is located on the U.S.-Mexico border. In the 1950s, Laredoans were told that we were living in the poorest city in the United States measured by per capita income. 

There was no doubt that there was lots of poverty in Laredo. I have recollections of seeing people living in shacks.

But there was one important phenomenon about living in the poorest city in the United States: There was no homelessness. That is, there was no one living on the streets or in their cars, as we see in many American cities today.

Now, think about that for a moment. People say that poverty is the cause of homelessness. But if that's the case, why wasn't there any homelessness in Laredo? 

The answer is: At that time, there was was no zoning in Laredo. Anyone could establish low-income housing anywhere he wanted, including such things as trailer parks, low-priced rental units, and multiple-family housing. 

Thus, everyone was able to find housing at some price.