I live in a city probably like many who’s office district has shrunk considerably as a result of the remote culture that was widely adopted during covid. The “city central” has always been a place for displaced people as many of their services as located there. Right out of the gate after covid we seen a huge increase in homelessness but that was also a fact a few years leading up to covid as rents started to strangle the people of my city. Fentanyl started taking hold of meany of these very vulnerable people. So right at the same time you seen a huge decline in office corporate space as many people start to work from home. I used to be one of these people. making over 100k working downtown, I was one of those people who paid almost $20 everytime I wanted lunch down town. I paid $10 for the day in parking, ect ect.
Many of those people did not live super close to the core of the city.
Some did, but most live in the surrounding subs,
At covid many of the downtown restaurants relied solely on ride share deliveries to survive. And since there was huge demand during covid it mostly worked.
Fast forward till now, many of those down town places are failing.
Our mayor has been doing all kinds of things to try and get companies to return to what is close to a 50% vacancy in our down town core. Just the other day he “demanded a return back to the office for 20 hours a week” as the only solution to revitalize the downtown.
The issue is multipart
- Most of the people who reside downtown are poor AF.
- Most of the people who had money no longer frequently the same spaces downtown they used to spend vastly higher levels of disposable income at.
- Most of the companies that left the core of the city who had these high wage employees are no longer looking to rent office spaces and are not coming back.
Its so frustrating to me,
So many people in my city have suffered from extreme rent prices. While rent has only just recently stabilized its not coming down at all. The landlord are the only ones who can fix our problems and they have been dragging their feet for too long.
Convert the office spaces into affordable housing now! If we can tell workers to get back to work then when are we gonna grow a backbone to the blood sucking landlords?
What kind of real change can I make or any one in any other city make to push this agenda of converting office space into affordable housing to address the lack of affordable homes?