...this blog kills fascists...

Monday, October 03, 2005


It's odd. I was just writing about this issue for another project and I was deeply troubled. I had no idea, though, just how pervasive the buyouts were. The coastal air so full of misery, now beset by vultures.

I understand that these folks need the money; many have been hung out to dry by their insurance companies; as many more were underinsured or without insurance at all. These are the ones I worry over. Add to this the fact that wealthy special interests will be rebuilding the destroyed areas in their own image and it all leaves a nasty taste indeed:

The Mississippi coast, wracked by Hurricane Katrina, is caught up in a real estate rush, as speculators and those looking to replace their own wrecked homes pinpoint broken and battered waterfront neighborhoods. In the weeks since the hurricane, prices of many homes -- even damaged properties -- have jumped 10 to 20 percent.

But what Katrina spared, the real estate rush now imperils. The arrival of speculators threatens what's left of bungalow neighborhoods that are among the Gulf's oldest communities, close-knit places of modest means where casino workers, fishermen and their families could still afford to live near the water.

Many, underinsured and with few alternatives, see no choice but to sell.[...]

[...]Those without flood insurance may have even fewer options and buyer Dan Triplett expects many will sell quickly. Triplett, owner of Gulf Coast House Buyers, buys and sells property and has been particularly busy since the storm.

He'll buy storm damaged property or nearly vacant lots for next to nothing. While real estate brokers find top-dollar buyers, Triplett makes cash deals or pays off mortgages in exchange for land.

"I deal with the other part of the spectrum of the market: people who don't necessarily care to get full price but they need to sell quickly," said Triplett, who said most of his post-Katrina business has come from retirees and those who lost their jobs.

In the coming months, as severance pay runs out for casino workers, Triplett expects a "mass exodus" of people looking to sell quickly and leave. [...]

[..]Casino employee Gene Ganucheau, whose home on the east side of Biloxi was hurled from its foundation and pulverized into little more than scrap lumber and metal, is banking on that. Ganucheau, 53, collected what he could, found a "For Sale" sign he once used to sell his car, posted it in the front yard and began taking phone calls.

Ganucheau hasn't sold yet. He thinks Mississippi will allow casinos to rebuild inland and he expects the blue-collar neighborhood to become one of luxury condominiums and casino property.

"Someone's going to buy us up, that and everyone else in the neighborhood," he said.

There's precedent for such a transformation. A year after Hurricane Charley ravaged much of Charlotte County, Florida, real estate agents say housing prices jumped as much as 30 percent as investors and new buyers gobbled up beachfront property.
Whatever it takes, the poor and working class are forever being priced out of the market. My own town, so far removed from the coast and the disaster both has already been so torn asunder and rebuilt to suit the whims of a wealthy vacationer class that our police officers, teachers, and firefighters can no longer afford to live here. This is to say nothing of the cultural blow served by the influx of so much money and all whom are pushed out of its way.

Give these people a blank slate on the coast and there will be no middle class to speak of down there. Mark my words.

0 comments: to “ Boom

Post a Comment

Blogspot Template by Isnaini Dot Com