In another creepy sign that big corporations want to own our souls, more and more companies are creating housing to sell (but more often rent) to employees. Companies like Disney, Meta, meatpacker JBS, and local school systems and health care organizations are now embracing the landlord path for their employees. Elon Musk also is reportedly planning a new Texas neighborhood for employees of SpaceX, Tesla, and Boring.
While this is one way to solve the current housing crisis, it could also be a path to employers being able to hold not only firing but evictions over employees' heads, too. Needless to say, the internet is not hopping on board.
While there's no doubt housing everywhere has shot up in price and even renting a home can require more than one job just to make ends meet, few Redditors responded well to the idea of company-owned rentals, even if it meant the ability to get housing close to work.
Reddit user @I_Learned_Once stated, "Ironically, it costs more [to create housing] than just raising wages — but they’re not actually doing it to save money. The more dependent a person is on the employer, the more power the employer has over them. All of a sudden, quitting = homelessness."
Gallery: Company Town Horror Stories
While NPR spotlighted the efforts of Cook Medical to build low-priced new homes (available for workers to buy — a significant distinction) in Spencer, Indiana, other companies may not be as philanthropic in setting up company towns.
Still, Cook Medical Chairman of the Board Steve Ferguson thinks issues of low developer and political interest in solving the current housing problem can be fixed if companies step in. "We now have a crisis nationwide," he told NPR, "and I think business has to deal with it."