What to do with those pesky alley loiterers and wagon wheels scraping on the walls? I know, let’s fill in the alley with a little house. My daily Worldle exercise gave me this photo to locate somewhere in Google Earth and my sleuthing, dear Watson, led me to the Hollensbury Spite House in Washington DC.
“Little houses” and “spite” naturally led me to think of the three-year-long battle my wife and I have been waging for redress concerning the notorious Sterling housing collapse, revealed early this year through a Senate Inquiry, to be a badly-regulated retirement housing scheme that saw aged pensioners lose life savings and the security of sound housing.
A tenuous link? I think not. How often has housing been weaponised to serve purposes other than the basic human need for secure shelter? Whether it’s to fill in a problem lane-way, keep the pockets of financial climbers well-lined, or serve as a symbol of status, the primary purpose of a house is to provide space for dwelling, a place to call home.
Jesus affirms the indignation of prophets of old when he berates those who hypocritically “devour widows’ houses” Our own country has a growing housing crisis because of the loss of focus on the primary purpose of housing. So now widows have a choice of sleeping in their cars or couch-surfing.
Which leads to this haiku:
How many times must
Human need yield to tycoons
Lining their purses?