Monday, June 20, 2005

How to Live on $7/Hour #3

How do illegal aliens live so well on "so little" that they can squirrel away an average of $10,000 per person per year in offshore remittances?

Don't pay rent.

When a new retail/apartment building went up across the street from me last summer, two of my construction-worker neighbors tried to get jobs on the site. One had a decade's experience as a roofer, the other was a union carpenter with superviory experience as well. Neither could get jobs -- at all, no less at their previous rate of about $16/hour. At that rate, half their take-home pay would barely cover rent on an efficiency apartment (the cheapest place in town).

But after quitting time, the Hispanic workforce (all illegals with no experience and fake IDs) would walk to Taco Bell, hang out till dark, endlessly refilling their sodas at the dispenser, then walk back to the construction site. They slept on site, once the boss was not around to notice. At dawn, you could see them urinating behind the framing (despite the requisite Porta-Pot on site), gathering their things and stashing them in bushes behind the building-under-construction.

No wonder their boss remarked that he had "a hard-working crew, always on the job before I get here." Of course, if the boss left the site during the day, they pulled their blankets out of the bushes again for siesta.

Other rent evasion tactics:

1. One person rents a small apartment, then -- unbeknownst to the landlord and in violation of lease and occupancy laws -- bring in friends and family members to split the rent among six to twelve workers.

2. Let friends and family members use your address to register their kids in school without actually residing in the district. One pays the phone bill, another the gas, the third pays electric, and so on for cable, etc. All utilities paid without any payers actually residing there.

3. Illegally "sublet" rooms within the apartment: subletting two bedrooms to two families should just about cover the rent on a two-bedroom apartment while your own family sleeps in the living room. If you rent a house, sublet the garage and basement as well as well as the bedrooms.

4. Many homeless shelters do not require any proof of legal presence, identity, former address, or anything else. Claim homelessness and stay free. Some shelters are limited to 30 or 60 days, but a couple of shelters will get one through the winter.

5. Scream "discrimination" and file suit against the landlord through Legal Aid or with any "fair housing," "human rights," or similar state or local agency. You not only get several months' free housing from the landlord you sue, but likely will get a cash settlement in addition.

One Hispanic woman who illegally moved into a condo without approval or lease from the owner demanded $30,000 cash in addition to four months' free rent, claiming he "discriminated" against her because she had several pre-school children. He never met the woman before she moved into his vacant, advertised unit, never received a rental application or credit check or deposit or rent!

6. Know your "rights" under local landlord-tenant law. In many states it can take six months or more to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent. Once you cough up first & last month's rent and security deposit, you could be home free for six to twelve months before you have to move.

7. Find a local charity that provides "emergency" housing funds to cover first and last month's rent on an apartment.

8. Have a car? Live in it. Park in a residential area where some tenants park on the street. When traveling, stop at highway rest areas for several hours for sleeping near convenient rest rooms and drinking fountain.

9. Squat. There are "tent cities," "homeless encampments," derelict buildings, trailer parks, and the like from one end of the country to the other. As a last resort, camp out under an overpass.

While the number of American citizens who are spending half of their monthly income on housing has risen 42%, illegal aliens live rent-free, or close to it -- mostly at others' expense.

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