A priest in charge of the Justice and Peace activities in a diocese writes in Bible & Life of the feeling he has when traveling, seeing the many apartments that continue to be built. It seems that there is always a lack and they go on building one after the other. He fears the country shortly will be a country of apartment buildings.
The housing supply rate in our country has surpassed 100% for some time. Consequently every family should be able to have their own home but the reality is that only about half do. There are many who have two or more.
The apartments that we continue to build will they be going to those without a house? The chances are no. The houses are bought to be resold which continues to polarize society into those who have and those who don't.
Policy change will not solve the problem for those who make the policies are not those without homes. The problem is the wrong understanding of the purpose of a house. At present for many, it is a profitable investment for the future and not a place where people make a home for their family. It is not a place taking up so many meters of space, made with this kind of material, in this area of society, but a place where a family lives.
A house with all kinds of precious stones, adorned with expensive marble but inhabited by thieves it is no more than a den of thieves. But if it is only a thatched cottage that leaks but is the home of a king than it is a palace. The palace of a respected king and one who is despised will be completely different. A home is made valuable by the persons who live there.
If a home is made by those who live there is that not what we should be about. In Luke's Gospel the story of Zacchaeus is a good object lesson. Jesus tells him that salvation has come to this house today. His house was transformed because the occupant was transformed; his house became a temple.
Jesus sent his apostles out to fill them with fullness of peace, Matt. 10:11 " As you enter the house, salute it, and if the house deserves it, let your peace descend upon it; if it does not, let your peace come back to you."
This invitation of our Lord if accepted will make all the houses a place fit for living and not a place where persons are busy with their calculating machines determining how much a house is financially worth.