The Obama's administration's new "Advancing Healthy Homes" initiative seeks control over home maintenance. Do we really need a giant government program to micromanage maintenance of our homes? (AP Photo)

The Obama’s administration’s new “Advancing Healthy Homes” initiative seeks control over home maintenance. Do we really need a giant government program to micromanage maintenance of our homes? (AP Photo)


From CNS News: This week, the Obama administration released a “bold new vision for addressing the nation’s health and economic burdens caused by preventable hazards associated with the home.” The project has a name: “Advancing Healthy Housing: A Strategy for Action.”

Here’s my take on this poorly thought out plan. At first glance it may seem the government is trying to improve the housing situation. But, unfortunately, that’s not how government works in reality. There are already thousands of rules, building codes, ordinances, laws and regulations of all kinds. The cost of existing bureaucratic red tape has already priced tens of millions of Americans out of affordable housing. Existing regulations don’t adequately protect consumers (note the contaminated drywall from China fiasco, for instance) and so we sure don’t need more of the same. This new Obama program is yet another layer of bureaucracy — another maze of new regulations that adds more cost and complexity, and creates ever more intrusive government.

The enforcement measures are not clear. In the worst case scenario this program would set loose waves of Nuisance Abatement Teams that levy heavy fines against poor people (or set the stage for this in the next level). Think this can’t happen? In the desert east of Los Angeles the government is already making SWAT type raids to intimidate and penalize people for petty offenses. See: Battle for the California Desert. Elsewhere, government officials are peering over fences and ticketing homeowners for weeds, debris and other minor offenses in order to bolster sagging government coffers.

The whole building code/government housing program process is a vicious cycle of more and more regulations at higher and higher cost that continually chip away at our freedoms and siphon off our money. I’ve warned in previous blog posts that Building Codes are a Slippery Slope. They seem like a good idea at first, but the bureaucracy grows and grows and grows. This sort of creeping government intrusion will not end well. We need smaller, less intrusive government, not another boondoggle program like Obombas Advancing Healthy Homes.

Additional comments: People already know about peeling paint and the importance of home maintenance, but they can’t afford to fix their homes. The real problem is lack of good paying jobs. It’s a well known fact that HUD houses are falling apart. The government is not able to keep up with maintenance. Why do they think another program will remedy the problem, when HUD has failed? Will this new program give government workers the authority to enter homes without search warrants? What happens to those who can’t afford to pay for repairs? (Hint: if people couldn’t afford to pay for repairs before this program, then most likely they won’t be able to pay once this goes into affect). Is this part of Agenda 21, a sweeping program that aims to insert itself in virtually every aspect of American life? Look it up. How much has been spent on creating this program? How much will this cost taxpayers, and who will pay for it?

Source: CNS News.com


Comments

New Boondoggle Government Housing Program — 21 Comments

  1. Well Mr. Geiger I for one agree with you and I’m sorry your getting so much flak for writing this article. And I’m positive nothing this administration does will ever be for less government. And for the people who hate big corporate business people unless you know someone you have no place to judge. What’s the saying about not judging someone until you walk a mile in their shoes. Just because someone makes 6 or 7 or more figures a year or owns and runs a large corporation doesn’t mean they are mean evil people trying to kill everyone else. And yes agenda 21 is very scary.

    • Do you have any firsthand knowledge of Agenda 21? Some might think it’s not real. I don’t know a whole lot about it, but some think they’re disguising their true intent by posing as environmentalists. They’re not true environmentalists, of course. That’s their cover story.

  2. Hi Owen, the wife and I just finished downloading your ebook and ordering the DVD. First thank you for all the hard work you do, without it people like me would not have some viable options on mortgage free homes! To me that is the goal, stay our of the fiasco of being tied to a mortgage. Owen, the less government interference with my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, the better my life will be. So yes the unintended consequences of another government department is not only not needed but undesirable. Simply put we can not afford what our government spends now on useless programs much less new programs! I do not care about the shuffling of government programs. Every freaking time the government shuffles they hold the playing cards, They deal the deck, then we “the people” get the bad hand!

    • Well said. The original plan of the founding fathers was for small, limited government. They had to fight off a repressive government to be free and they tried their best to create a system where tyranny wouldn’t happen again in this country. They did a great job, but over the years things have grown out of control to the point where what we have now is not what the founders intended. It all changed bit by bit — so slow that most people allowed it to happen.

      I don’t believe for one second this new housing program will reduce the size of government, reduce bureaucracy, reduce regulations, reduce cost or anything of the sort. One only has to look at those making the promises and draw an intelligent conclusion. They’ve lied repeatedly and can’t be trusted. Look at their track record. And people think I’m gullible. Geez.

      • You say you don’t believe it will reduce the size of government, yet you have admitted that you’re not willing to research what the program really will do.

        I think that might be the definition of gullible in the dictionary.

        • My opinion is based on how the real world works, not on what politicians say. Believing known liars is the very definition of gullible.

          • You are contradicting yourself.

            You have demonstrated that opinion is based upon a whole series of right wing blog opinions about the new program, not about the specific details of what is actual reality of the program. You would rather take the word of politicians blogging (and that is what almost all the links you have provided are… political propaganda spin doctors.) While refusing to actually read the specifics of the program from the official sources.

            That, is gullibility. An almost perfect dictionary definition.

            When you base your opinion on a whole series of others’ biased opinions, instead of getting detailed facts. You are setting yourself up to be misled.

          • Wrong. I had already formed my opinion and written the blog post before reading those other opinions. I added them later to show how others feel the same way (and add entertainment value). My opinion is based on reality — what the government does versus what politicians promise. Actions speak louder than words. They’ll promise the moon if you vote for them and send money. But look at what actually happens with almost any government program. They grow and grow and grow. The first version, the way the program is initially described may sound wonderful. That’s to bamboozle the gullible and get it approved. Once the program is up and running, then they start to add on this and that year after year.

          • Yes. The ICC will grow and grow. The corporate lobbyists will continue to write the building code which are adopted by local governments blindly.

            What is so disheartening, is that your blog post indirectly supports those that are funded by, fight for, and promote those corporate interests. The same corporate interests that promote and sell the horribly crappy generic housing industry you (very appropriately) lambast repeatedly in this blog in the past.

            I’m disheartened that you have allowed yourself to be fooled into promoting the agenda of those that would destroy the very work you promote on your own blog.

            You’ve stabbed yourself in the back, and you don’t even recognize how you have hurt yourself. It is very disappointing to watch someone destroy their own hard fought work. Especially work that has so much promise.

          • Both programs are going to grow and grow indefinitely. That’s what I’m saying. Neither program will lower housing costs or make much difference to the average American. They’re both bad. So why do they want to introduce a new program? Obviously they have a reason, and judging by past performance they’re likely up to no good. That’s the nature of giant bureaucracies. You seem to trust them, I don’t. My guess is this new program is carefully worded to make it easier to abuse homeowners in the future (ex: eventual intrusive inspections, etc.). You think this new program will cut the influence of big business, when it’s obvious that big business virtually runs the country. Read up on the number of lobbyists in Washington these days (= all time high). Read up on the revolving door between industry insiders and government (= blatant corruption). It’s like chess. They’re making plans down the line that you can’t see or acknowledge could happen.

            You’ve made your point. Let’s agree to disagree. I have much better things to do. Comments are closed unless someone has something important to say.

  3. Owen,

    As much as I love your blog, in this instance you have demonstrated your gullible side.

    I hate government interferrence as much as the next guy, but this new plan is THE OPPOSITE. This new plan REDUCES the amount of government interference. It reduces red tape, not increases it. This plan IS FOR SMALLER GOVERNMENT. It takes programs that already exist in several different government agencies with many overlapping redundant responsibilities and combines them to reduce government waste.

    There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in this plan about Nuisance Abatement Teams. NOTHING. The only place you’ll find that kind of crap is on extremist Right Wing political blogs like the ones you have gotten suckered into linking to in this blog post.

    Do you realize that by promoting those far extreme viewpoints you are actually promoting political organizations that partner with the political operations of Wayerhouser, Owens Corning, and most of the other billion dollar corporations responsible for creating the worst possible building codes? Do you realize that these same extremist right wing organizations protect and defend some of the largest building supply and construction corporations that produce some of the worst most polluting and harmful building products in existence?

    Don’t misunderstand. I consider myself a conservative. I happen to think we should take care of ourselves with as little government interference as possible.

    I also happen to think any citizen should be able to take care of themselves with as little interference from overpowering corporations if one chooses to as well.

    I refuse to choose between an overreaching government and overpowering corporations. I choose REAL FREEDOM. I want the freedom to build my own house with my own hands, without the government or any billion dollar corporation interfering with how I want to live my life. As long as my actions do not interfere with someone else, I want to build MY house MY WAY.

    If a corporation has quality products I choose to use, great, but I refuse to submit to corporate control of the ICC and other building code organizations promoting their horrific crappy generic housing that almost everyone submits to and suffers inside for their entire lives. I refused to be forced to purchase a corporation’s products simply because they have a monopoly on something that is required in the building codes.

    Furthermore, Consumers deserve to make informed decisions. I WANT parents to be informed if someone is trying to sell a house to them that contains poisons like lead and asbestos which could harm their children. Why do you oppose this Owen?

    I don’t really think you oppose consumers knowing what they are purchasing, Owen, but indirectly through this blog post, that is exactly what you have promoted. I simply think you got taken advantage of and tricked.

    Owen, I really think you need to do a LOT more research to discover what this program really is, because it is NOTHING like what you or the websites you are linking to describe.

    C’mon Owen. You’re smarter than this. I know you are. Please don’t be so quick to be taken advantage of by politicians selfishly seeking to advance an agenda you yourself have consistently opposed throughout your blog.

    • Jay, I’m not promoting big business or big government or any “extremist Right Wing political blogs”. I’ve written 6-10 blog posts about how building codes create all kinds of problems for owner builders and homeowners. This latest program appears to be a continuation of similar policies (= government is the solution). **Keep in mind they always try to make it sound like they’re doing the right thing and that they really care for you. The end result is typically bigger government, higher taxes and loss of freedoms. And like I said, I’m not going to spend a lot of time researching this. I’m just reporting a story. Readers can seek out the details and make up their own minds. And by the way, home buyers can hire a home inspector to check for lead, asbestos, etc. No need for another billion dollar program.

  4. It’s encouraging to see a lot of people feel like I do. Here’s a sampling of comments from other sites.

    From: BigBig Forums http://www.bigbigforums.com/news-information/666218-advancing-healthy-housing-strategy-action.html

    “For examples of actions that have unintended consequences, see almost every other government program.
    Where is this headed? I’m envisioning eventual door-to-door “home health inspections” conducted by teams of three government workers trained at the soon to be announced “Joseph R. Biden School of Healthy Housing Green Jobs Training and Taco Bell.”

    “This program will produce nothing besides empty slogans and more govt. jobs and regulation while doing nothing to alleviate the imaginary crisis of dangerous homes. Really, at a time when we are on the brink of national bankrupt, millions without jobs or hope of finding one, govt. dependency at record levels and yet there is time and money to worry about pollen levels or drafty living rooms by the people leading this country?”

    “Obama Wants To Be Inside Your Home
    Just when you thought you had heard everything from President Obama, there comes the most egregious government over-reach to date! And this one really is unbelievable! Mr. Barack Obama and his administration want the tentacles of the federal government to control INSIDE of YOUR home!”

    “The unveiling of this plan has “Big Brother” written all over it! It must be stopped! What business is it of the federal government to take actions and measures to make sure your home is “healthy?”

    From: http://stevescomments.wordpress.com/tag/epa-advancing-healthy-housing-a-strategy-for-action/

    “I just don’t remember the Constitution authorizing such a thing! Under the broad banner of “health,” the federal government not only is telling Americans what to eat, it’s also telling us to make our homes safer.”

    From: http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread925839/pg1

    “Apparently the condition of your home is now a concern of the state as it might make you unhealthy…. Is this aganda 21? Is this how they are going to get people’s homes condemned and force them into “government approved housing”? I don’t like the undertones here.”

    “if they cared about health the first thing they would do is ban GMO everything, second they would stop putting poisons in our water supply, third they would stop allowing other poisons to be put into food and drinks that you buy… and so on.”

    “Let me guess. Subsidized “Safe Housing” and that house you once had but now can’t afford to fix or pay double rent on? Back to the bank…Agenda 21? Sure looks like it. ”

    “They can’t even fix anything fiscal you think i’m going to trust these individuals to fix my house? ”

    “We already can’t pay for all of the other recent “initiatives” meant to improve the quality of our lives, so how the heck are we going to tackle this one? I agree with what Get Ready to Rock said – here comes subsidized housing for all but the rich.”

    “Instead of a Healthy Housing initiative, how about a Healthy Government initiative? The federal government is fat and bloated from engorging itself on stimulus. A restrictive diet would definitely improve its health. But the hypocrites in charge want to put tight restrictions on everyone except Washington.”

    From http://michellemalkin.com/2013/02/09/obama-healthy-housing/comment-page-1/#comments

    ” Burried not so deep in this little gem is Govt authority to condemn your house based on arbitrary standards it sets – and it’s judgment as to whether your home complies. Govt abuse of emminent domain is already a huge problem. This little tool would make it easier.

    “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you.” Right. Fight back.”

    “The government takes a little here, and a little there, and soon everything is under its control, all under the guise of helping the citizens and looking like the hero.”

    “Mark my words. This will drive up the cost of housing when armies of bureaucrats start dreaming up new building code requirements, and you can bet any code problem, regardless of being grandfathered in the past will have to be fixed before you can sell the place.

    Here in western CO, Mesa county adopted some kind of building code that is just nuts. I have had the building inspector out twice for work I am doing, and each time they come up with something new never mentioned by the previous inspector….and it is the most minor BS you can think of.”

    “The next step will probably be a humongous new TSA style federal HOME SAFETY AGENCY. With full regulatory and enforcement powers. With an armed up security force, and IRS fining, jailing, and confiscating powers for non compliance. Paid for by a 10% added tax on every home sale! ”

    “Right about now, our country’s Founding Fathers are looking pretty darn astute. Our nation’s laws were written to try and protect us from the evil that resides in the hearts of men (and, women) craving power. Is there any doubt now, why our Constitution was crafted the way it was? ”

    “I don’t see how this new Home health crap can possibly be implemented without the complete removal of the 4th Amendment.”

    “I say that the “health and economic burdens” of a run-amok corrupt administration cost trillions of dollars so why don’t we get rid of that first?”

    “We note that there are only 2 of you living in this 3 bedroom house. Therefore, we’ve decided that such a waste of space can be best dealt with by moving a homeless family of 4 in tonight. Please move any personal effects from the 2 bedrooms.”

    “Will the gov decide to confiscate property base upon the “health” of the property? Such a slippery slope!”

    “Our local busybodies are bad enough when it comes to dictating what constitutes a compliant dwelling, Heaven help us if the Feds jump into that sandbox as well.”

    • From http://michellemalkin.com/2013/02/09/obama-healthy-housing/comment-page-1/#comments

      ” Burried not so deep in this little gem is Govt authority to condemn your house based on arbitrary standards it sets – and it’s judgment as to whether your home complies. Govt abuse of emminent domain is already a huge problem. This little tool would make it easier

      Owen,

      You realize who Michelle Malkin is right?

      You realize she’s flat out telling a lie right?

      oh yeah… I forgot. You don’t care about finding out the facts.

      • Jay, please tone it down. I don’t know who Michelle Malkin is. I searched the title of this housing program in a search engine and opened a few sites. Saying things like “You don’t care about finding out the facts.” will get you nowhere fast. If you don’t agree with my assessment, fine.

        • …This “new program” is no big deal. It’s just a small reshuffling of a few government agency responsibilities. No new laws have been passed. No added red tape. It’s a simple restructuring. It will save a little taxpayer money. It’s not going to introduce any new laws…

  5. From the Lighthouse Blog: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=11048

    “Who hasn’t faced chipped paint, broken pipes and water leaks on their property? But these problems don’t require government interference! Besides, who would pay the huge cost of examining each house and fixing it to comply with Obama’s new rules for home owners?

    Will our individual freedoms be smothered by the bureaucratic regulations pushed by elite globalists who want to use and control us as if we were cattle?”

    From: http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/obama-administration-gestapo-demanding-all-americans-must-have-healthy-housing/question-3515511/?link=ibaf&q=&esrc=s

    “There is no doubt this will become another money pit and wasteful program that will simply infringe upon our liberty. The obvious question is what business does the Federal government have to do with anything that is specifically in state. Housing does not cross State lines and so one wonders what authority the Federal government has in this matter. I would say the Constitution doesn’t give them any authority regarding how healthy people’s homes are. This is just another way that the feds are looking to overstep their bounds into a jurisdiction they are not welcome in.”

  6. The most scariest sentence that anyone will ever come across is “Hello, we’re from the government and we’re here to help.” It sends chills down my spine just typing it.

    • I’d say their reputation is shot at this point.

      I haven’t researched the details of this program. I’m busy, plus it’s discouraging thinking about this sort of thing. I’d rather work on interesting projects, so feel free to critique my viewpoints.

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