The years of pandemic have drew us close to our homes. We sheltered in place in them, had our kids go to school in them, and worked in them. Like a vacuum hose to a couch’s underbelly, the pandemic brought ugly realities to the light of day.
As kids took their midterm exams, wintry air seeped in. As retirees prepared dinner, June heat burst through. Instead of days at the pool, we spent days wading through waterlogged basements. Storms made more severe by the climate crisis exposed our unreliable electricity and our aging roofs and walls.
All the while, the cost to live increased. Studies show full-time EMTs can’t afford a modest two-bedroom apartment. Grocery store cashiers have to work two full-time jobs to afford the same place. And for those of us looking to buy that American Dream home, one out of three houses on the average block are impossible to afford for the average Michigander.
These realities are exacerbated for those with small incomes or in marginalized communities, who are more likely to live in old houses and spend more of their paychecks than the rest just to keep a roof over their heads.
These problems will only get worse as climate change grows stronger (thanks, in part, to homes themselves), as the cost of living grows more expensive, and as the age of the average Michigan home continues to rise.
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