Expensive housing for the homeless

Expensive housing for the homeless

October 23rd, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

Along with other government funding, the $862 billion federal "stimulus" recently provided $1 million to help pay for the construction of a three-story apartment building in Bethesda, Md., that will house just 12 formerly homeless people.

We don't begrudge compassionate efforts to provide shelter to those in need. But this project is full of exactly the sort of waste that makes so many Americans cynical about federal spending.

The new building -- whose total price tag was $4 million -- has 12 apartments for its new occupants, The Washington Examiner reported. It will have a fitness center, an enclosed courtyard and a community room, among other amenities.

Yet it will house only about 1 percent of surrounding Montgomery County's population of homeless people. And with the apartment building taking in only 12 people -- at a total price of $4 million -- the average cost per resident will be more than $333,000!

As National Review magazine noted, that is far higher than the nationwide median price of a home -- about $222,000.

Does that sound like a cost-effective use of your tax dollars?