Announcement: I have found a new place to live!
8:00 p.m. CT Wednesday 8 April 2015
Now, finally since mid-November 2014, readers here will no longer see postings about the life-threatening housing crisis I’ve been facing in Norman, Oklahoma.
I found a new place to live. I will not become homeless in Norman May 31 at end of Bishop’s Landing Apartments lease, and no danger of ever becoming homeless at destination.
Late afternoon today, I found six affordable studio/kitchenettes in another city of another state, with vacancies into June. No application fee. No deposit. Under $600 per month. No minimum income requirement. All utilities included. Furnished. Includes cable TV and Wi-Fi. On-site laundry. Pay rent via cash or my debit card. Walking distance from Greyhound Bus station there and city bus station. Near McDonald’s and other affordable restaurants, library, city and county offices.
Things too good to be true usually are. Not this time. It’s not just 6 apartments. It’s 6 different apartment complexes in combination with also being operated as motels with weekly and nightly options for some units. Surprisingly no swimming pools, however. Hot days, cold nights. Lots of cactus. A certain little town, open 24 hours, never sleeps. Good cops, with a low crime rate like Norman. I might get a driver’s license there and buy a used motorcycle. Very popular place for motorcycles. Long ago, I had the kind for trail riding and hill climbing, not ideal for motocross, but street legal. I enjoyed the Sunday afternoon rides on trails outside of the city where I lived back then. I might actually get to do that again, and might become well enough to handle it within reasonable age and health limits.
I got the tip from a USA Today journalist. I checked it out. It’s all true. I’m saved from becoming homeless, and in turn now saved from certain death here or elsewhere because of bad health and exposure from being homeless. A slightly smaller city that is not part of a nearby larger city appears to be what I should have been searching for, what makes the key difference. A huge weight has been lifted off of me. I feel much better now. Finally, a good deal I can do. Five months of searching, I almost gave up all hope earlier today.
I will NOT report exactly where. The danger is continued slander in retaliation for me publishing my reports on the Internet at my blog website about the sale and planned razing of Bishop’s Landing Apartments, which Dowell wanted to keep secret to never inform any tenants here until last minute. They still deny it, even though leases end May 31, and July 31, with no apartments to be rented past July 31. No reason given by management.
The razing of low-rent low-income affordable housing – replacing it with more expensive housing, plus most other landlords now requiring 3 x rent or about $2000 minimum net income per month to rent an apartment from them here in Norman . . . makes it crystal clear low-income people, low-wage workers, part-time workers, retired seniors whose only income is Social Security Retirement, and people like me on Social Security Disability benefits, are no longer welcome to live here in Norman.
As of May 3, 2015, I will have lived here 7 years. No regrets. Norman was the right choice for the right reasons 7 years ago. Much has changed since then. Norman was a good city. Now greed will change it, for better or worse.
I presently get $851 disability benefits plus $70 food stamps, total $921 per month – all of which I’d normally spend here in Norman. That’s the revenue loss of businesses and current landlord here in Norman. One city’s loss is another city’s gain.
Over 200 tenants are being displaced here from Bishop’s Landing Apartments. A few like me will also be leaving Norman for the same reasons. However, since Norman and landlords are replacing low-income people with higher income people, it really will not be any loss to Norman at all.
Even so, when local businesses lose their part-time and low-wage workers, because of the lack of affordable housing in Norman, and businesses have to pay more in wages, prices will go up and some businesses will leave Norman. Fast-food restaurants, Walmart, and others. Apparently, Norman doesn’t need or want those anymore. Better to have more expensive restaurants and stores only higher income people can afford, to help keep out those horrible low-income people. Also, to reduce the crime rate of course since Norman Police associate low-income people with crime as a cause and source. Norman is in good company – many other cities across the US are doing the same thing. Worse in other cities where they are criminalizing being homeless, in addition to shutting out low-income people.
No more worries for me. I found a place where I’m welcome. It’s not much, but they want my money. Also, more doctors (MD) there who accept Medicare. I get to have health care again! I might actually live to see my next birthday – age 60 on 5 March 2016.
~ Jim Harwood, aka Jim Lantern (Internet pen name)
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