Thursday, July 2, 2009

Stand by for Homelessness by Fall

by Smitty

Bertha Lewis, national president of the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN), issued a news release yesterday repeating a claim she has previously made that "every 13 seconds another American family loses its home."
Household loss rate (1/13sec)0.076923077
seconds per year31556926
households in US105480101
seconds remaining of US housing8,113,853.923 sec (househods * loss rate)
years of housing left0.257118007 years, say 3 months (8,113,853.923 sec / 31,556,926 sec*year^-1)

This Fall, the entire country could be out on the streets. But I think I know somebody who may have a job opportunity:
"Hola, amigos! You say you want me to work on your senseless?"

Calvin Dodge correctly identifies the flaw in the comments.
So, am I an idiot, or is this post nothing but a troll, or both?


  1. I think you misplaced a decimal point, or multiplied where you should have divided.

    31556926/13=2427455 households per year.
    105480101/2427456=43.45 years

    So it would take rather longer for everyone to lose their homes.

    But I'm still skeptical about her clain.

  2. I think I see your error. Your formula should have been households/loss rate, not households*loss rate.

  3. Agree with Calvin Dodge. At one household lost every 13 seconds, there would be 6,646 households losing their homes every day (86,400 seconds per day times 1/13th of a household kicked to the curb per second). At that rate, we're looking at 2,425,790 new homeless families over 365 days, which would lead to 100% homelessness in 43.45 years, ceteris paribus.

  4. Smitty: Just read your update, after posting my first comment. A few things to add:
    1) There's nothing wrong with troll posts;
    2) Everyone is entitled to a bit of faulty math from time to time - and you acknowledged the error, so no harm;
    3) ACORN's claim is still bogus. Take it from an ex-banker: there are far more foreclosures started than actually completed. Not to mention that the family moving out, in almost every case, finds another place to live. Losing one's house, in which one never held any equity anyway, is not an automatic one-way ticket to a dumpster in a dark alley in the burned-out crackhouse section of downtown.

  5. Dang! I'm going to be the only one left owning my home, seeing as how we paid it off instead of getting second, third and fifth mortgages every time we wanted a bigger TV.

    and no, y'all can't come crash on our couch.

  6. Um, hello? Yes, I was informed that there would be no math here...

  7. "So, am I an idiot, or is this post nothing but a troll, or both?"

    Nice save, Smitty.