Monday, May 30, 2016

Building a Failed Society

RBB (the Berlin state-run network) did an interesting piece on refugees and housing.

So, what can be said is that Berlin is overflowing with refugees (really, the issue is more that X number of applicants have gotten visas finally and ready to exit from the camps or refugee centers).  This is when you need housing of a more permanent and upgraded nature.

The Berlin city government has determined the best way ahead was to go and procure on their own (using tax-payer money) a number of modular buildings.  These aren't the steel container type, but they aren't exactly the type that would be around for a hundred years (like so many buildings built today).

Based on the type that I've seen in the past....these modular buildings are the type that you can develop a plot of land....bring in the pieces of the building, and assemble it in four weeks.  When it's done, you have an apartment building with walls, a roof, and standard expectations.  Typically, for the first couple of years....it's OK.  Somewhere between five and ten years, there's some noted decline.  Typically, around year fifteen to twenty....unless some refurbishment occurs....the building is heading toward ghetto status.

I've never seen a price-tag comparison on these modular buildings.  Because of the speed in construction, I'm assuming it's probably half the cost of a normal building.

The city of Berlin was going to erect sixty of these modular buildings around the city.  In fact, there were a number of meetings.....heated meetings I hint....where people questioned the location of these modular buildings around the city.  For several months, I've followed this story off and on.  The city council was often in conflict with neighborhood groups over this planning process.

So, we've come to a point now where they will erect only ten of the originally planned sixty modular buildings.  Chief reason?  What they say is that the huge numbers of refugees that they anticipated.....didn't come through.  The downward trend from January....has reset the whole view on numbers.

But now, we've come to this odd change in the plan.

In the various meetings held....one complaint was that if these modular buildings were put up....would they also be used for regular Berlin people (the non-refugees)?  It was a comment to slam the city council on the fact that they'd done nothing much for years for the homeless folks of Berlin....to include homeless families as well.

The change to the plan now incorporates the idea of a joint living circumstance....refugees and affordable housing candidates (yeah....the homeless).

There's a term for this which has been developed by the agenda folks....."mixing".  The original use of the word meant that you created a neighborhood where rich, middle-income, and poor lived side by side.  In an ideal world.....it works (at least on paper).

I sat and pondered upon this idea.  Migrants and refugees really don't have any room to complain because it's all free living and a benefit by the German government....paid for by the German tax-payer.  But if you sit and imagine this scene.....Mr X from such-and-such country has arrived with the family and is now on the process of integration and getting their life sorted out.

Next to Mr X, is Mr Y.....a German homeless guy (no family), who seems to be down on his luck.....a lot.  He's got a free place to live, compliments of the German government and tax-payer.

As the weeks go by, Mr X will sit through integration classes and ask some stupid questions about life in Germany, and how these down-and-out folks (the ones living next door to him).....don't seem to be going anywhere.  He'll comment to the instructor that several of the down-and-out folks sit around the park out front of the house....sipping beer from mid-morning on, and they don't seem to appreciate this great German lifestyle or the opportunities that exist.

The integration instructor (likely a Green Party guy) will talk of the great and wondrous opportunities that exist and that some need time to sort out their chaotic lifestyle.  Some will take other paths to success.  Mr X, being very appreciative of his new life, in a wonderful land such as Germany, won't be able to understand this situation.  Day by day.....he continues to observe the neighbors and questions them on their work ethic.

At some point, the integration experts (the PhD types) will come to analyze this relationship and neighbor issue....finding that this really didn't work well.  The immigrants and the homeless folks....in one central apartment complex....didn't fit well.

Books will be written about this 'experiment' and people will appear on German TV chat forums to explain about a failed concept.

Somewhere around twenty years from now....some Berlin city council will pay several million Euro for some demolition crew to dismantle these ten-odd modular buildings and just quietly close the chapter on this episode.

No comments: