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18.6 Million Empty Homes In America, 3.5 million homeless

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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 12:37 PM
Original message
18.6 Million Empty Homes In America, 3.5 million homeless
And this was in 2008!



"Today Reuters reported that due to the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the dramatic rise in foreclosures of owner-occupied housing, America now has a record number of vacant homes across the country for the first quarter of this year. In discussing the rise in the share of vacant homes, the Reuters article, by Joanne Morrison, casually dropped a bomb: the total number of vacant U.S. properties hit 18.6 million, which was a record, quoting a U.S. Census Bureau official.

18.6 MILLION vacant homes! Now, thats alotta vacancies. Incredible. According to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty there are 3.5 million homeless people in this country. So, roughly, thats 5 1/3 empty homes for every homeless person. This system sure is working, isnt it?"

http://obrag.org/?p=690


The numbers of both empty houses and homeless have certainly grown since these numbers came out....I see a common sense solution here if we could just get over our learned helplessness and start making demands on our 'Representatives'...any ideas??
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. also see:
More Homeless Americans Living in Cars and Campers
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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DBoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. Someone needs to organize a squatting movement (nt)
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BeHereNow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. It's already happening.
Edited on Tue Feb-16-10 12:58 PM by BeHereNow
My daughter lives in a communal situation in Oakland.
13 to 15 people reside in a large Victorian and share the costs
of bulk buying.

Next door to them, there are three families squatting, with the owner's permission,
in a house that has been abandoned and falling down for years.

It's happening all over the country.

BHN
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
4. Um...those homes belong to somebody. Be it the bank or homeowners or an estate.
Just because it's vacant doesn't mean someone can basically steal it. Speaking as the owner of one of those empty houses--I sure don't want anyone in there until it sells. Good grief.
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. I'm talking about a bailout for the people

The government uses small a percentage of money they spent bailing out financial industry and buy homes and set up low income housing for people.

As it is now, these homes sitting empty will start falling apart, be gutted etc. and lose most of their value if someone doesn't buy them soon and heat/repair/maintain them.

Perhaps some homes could be set up as Co-ops...someone could even be paid a small stipend to run the household...
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
38. If there were a government program in place to buy your property
would you be willing to participate?

Just wondering........
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #38
127. No--I shouldn't have a problem selling it. If I did, or if it was in bad shape, then
I would consider some sort of program, though.
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #127
136. Thank you for your honesty; it's much appreciated.
I guess it just boils down to what kind of personal situation we are in. In better times, we had more choices.

I understand your feelings of not wanting to rent out your house; the first house that I bought (back in 1985) sat on the market for 6 months with no offers, and hardly any showings. My husband at the time suggested renting it out; I said "No way in hell". That first house meant a lot to me. I loved that house, but we had simply outgrown it. I couldn't bear to rent it out. Fortunately, we weren't in a financial bind, and eventually it sold.

Best of luck to you.

t.

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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #4
61. Easy solution: take them away from the thieving banks.
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #61
83. Wouldn't I love to!!!!
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butterfly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #4
118. From what I have seen..
they are already being stolen piece by piece..
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maryf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #4
121. Many of those homes are abondaned...
considering over 5 houses for 1 homeless, I would assume there are enough not owned by individuals to not threaten your house. There are also real estate companies who prefer to have someone in the house when trying to sell it and actually allow folks to live in them with the owners consent. As the main cause of homelessness is a lack of affordable housing, wouldn't you consider letting someone between homes live there?
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #121
128. No--I hate to sound mean, but that house is my one big investment,
Edited on Wed Feb-17-10 12:06 AM by TwilightGardener
and the proceeds will buy my next house. Can't afford to let anyone mess it up. I didn't even want to rent it.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-18-10 05:15 AM
Response to Reply #128
178. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 07:29 AM
Response to Reply #121
134. If you give someone something
they almost always don't appreciate it. Having been around real estate for years, uncaring people can do far, Far, FAR more damage to a house than sitting empty, in a fraction of the time. I've seen it. They can't afford the house to begin with. They can't afford utilities, they defecate in the bath tub, burn the wood work in the fireplace, and cook over a small charcoal makeshift grill in the kitchen sink....no, not in a million would I be allowing my investment to be occupied by the homeless and neither would you if you are smart.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #4
144. "Theft" from bankers is morally permissable. nt
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Yurovsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-20-10 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #144
193. agree 100%... turnabout is fair play.* n/m
nm
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Jax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-18-10 05:13 AM
Response to Reply #4
177. Speaking for yourself
as usual.
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-18-10 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #177
183. Only person I can speak for. If someone else doesn't give a crap
about their property, they can let strangers in to do God knows what.
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 01:04 PM
Response to Original message
5. Enough homes to take in all the homeless Americans...but they're vacant?
:wtf:
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. 5 1/3 empty homes for every homeless person
:wtf: indeed!
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #17
31. See post #4
That's the problem right there.
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montanto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #31
48. Property owners are the problem? Yikes!
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #48
78. They're the ones holding all the cards.
But I was speaking more toward the general attitude of "I got mine, screw you".
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #78
84. Yeah, I got that one right away.
And of course, no response to my question, which I thought was a reasonable one.

Sad day, indeed. Well, there's always Karma....

t.
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 07:46 AM
Response to Reply #78
135. OFTLOF
"I got mine, screw you"...yeah, that's it, people who have spent 20 years, 20 fucking years, of their lives, working, paying their bills, scrimping, slowly saving, improving their property by going to the Home Depot on the weekends and you think they should allow someone who gives not a single shit about any of that the opportunity to do irreparable damage to their investment because it makes you feel good? How about you do something like take in some of those unfortunate souls, if there isn't at least one person for every 12 square feet of floor space in your abode, then you aren't doing all you could be.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #135
173. Well, you have packed so many stereotypes and hate into your little screed, one
would think you downloaded it directly from Faux Snooze.

Good luck to you, should you ever find yourself in those shoes that you detest on others.
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-18-10 06:12 AM
Response to Reply #173
179. Just a realist
who has been around the block a few times..the only people who would think this is a good idea are people who have never worked to own anything, and who have never been involved in the rental of houses. Silly proclamations of houses being better off with homeless people in them...bullshit..I have seen it and it is bad. How about this..how about you go co-sign a rental agreement for a homeless person/family who you don't know? No you say? Why not, this is what you are saying others should be doing.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-18-10 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #179
185. Yes, indeedy. Teabaggers consider themselves realists, too.
Since you haven't noticed my posts before, here is news for you:

I live in my car. So, yes, I am using every square foot. So, you want me to cosign what agreement?

Now, tell me again how all my kind is so evil?
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-18-10 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #185
186. Not once did I say any such thing
nor have I stated contempt for homeless people. We donate to our local soup kitchen and to other services and individuals regularly. But placing homeless people in other people's property or having the .gov buying foreclosed properties to use as low income housing in the former just isn't ever going to happen and in the latter isn't the most efficient use of public money allotted to housing the homeless. Houses which are sitting empty are still someone's property. When the property ultimately sells, the proceeds of the sale will be applied to the debt, the remainder will show on the debtor's credit report as a debt balance or a debt write off, either it is in the debtor's best interest to sell the foreclosed property for the maximum possible amount. If you put people into the property it will not help the property unless they take extraordinary care of the home, which having managed many rentals over the years, I know is a rare tenant.

I am not against every plan, only this plan or plans which are silly from a cost/benefit standpoint, or violate other people's property rights.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-19-10 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #186
187. Oh, yes, it isn't go to happen... except here and here and here...Heres your
Before you start calling people names and denigrating their ideas, you MAY wnat to open your mind a bit, and actually listen and think:


U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced yesterday the award of $2 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to states, local governments and non-profit housing developers, under HUDs Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). Nearly 80 grantees are receiving awards. A full list of grants awarded can be found here. The $2 billion in NSP grants will help state and local governments and non-profit developers collaborate to acquire land and property; to demolish or rehabilitate abandoned properties; offer down-payment and closing cost assistance to low- to middle-income homebuyers; and create land banks to assemble, temporarily manage and dispose of foreclosed homes.
http://www.novoco.com/low_income_housing /

Foreclosed homes are being eyed as low-income housing
County acquires $2M, seeks millions more to convert vacant houses into affordable rentals
by Jen Beasley | Staff Writer
Montgomery County has been awarded a little more than $2 million of the $400 billion Neighborhood Stabilization Program passed by Congress that will allow the county to purchase foreclosed homes for use as rentals for people who make less than 50 percent of the area median income less than $50,000 for a family of four in Montgomery. The county housing department has applied for an additional $7 million from the state's share of the federal money.
http://www.gazette.net/stories/01142009/gaitnew215529_3...

GRANT TURNS FORECLOSED PINES HOMES INTO AFFORDABLE HOUSING
By PHILLIP VALYS
Publication: Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
Date: Monday, December 22 2008


The U.S. economy might be in a recession, but Pembroke Pines has one less thing to worry about: foreclosed homes.
Last month, Pines commissioners accepted a $4,398,575 federal block grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to buy and renovate foreclosed homes.
The HUD funding applies only to a makeover of 36 recently foreclosed homes in Pines neighborhoods that "have become sources of abandonment and blight within the community," according to the grant application.

http://www.allbusiness.com/society-social/social-welfar...

I'm sure you will have more belittling comments to make to me in regard to this, but folks reading this interchange will see what you are about. So, have at it.
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-19-10 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #187
188. I have no problem
with any of this. There is a huge difference between helping people get into homes for which they will then be required to have the ability to repay the balance on and arbitrarily moving people into other people's property without qualifying the people as to their ability to pay someplace in the vicinity of market value. I am all for grants being available to people with income, nor do I oppose grants to house those people who don't have the ability to work for lack of jobs or physical/emotional issues.

This particular conversation is about violation of property rights without due process, which I strongly oppose. Get it?
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-20-10 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #188
189. YOU are the one who read that into it in the first place.
Just to stir up the troops.

GET IT?

Look, you are choosing to be purposely nasty, and most of us have had enough of that from the RW. Being homeless, I don't appreciate your nasty GET IT even more.... such insensitivity is not only uncalled for, but I believe it is an intentional need to hurt.

Do as you wish.. you want to heap more shit on people who are already hurting, have at it. It only opens the eyes of those who read your words to see how those of us who are homeless are treated by people who call themselves "progressive". It causes more awareness.
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-20-10 06:25 AM
Response to Reply #189
190. Yeah
your first post to me you essentially called me a freeper, your second post you called me a teabagger, your third post you attributed a bunch of shit to me which was untrue and I got a little testy...go fuck yourself, how's that for "purposely nasty". If you want to discuss, try to not start out accusing others of untrue shit, it is rude and violates the rules...your being homeless doesn't entitle you to be shitty without repercussions.
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #31
53. Your'e right.........
:hi:
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #31
160. Wow--do you know how hard we worked to renovate my 1870's Victorian?
Edited on Wed Feb-17-10 05:10 PM by TwilightGardener
That's my home, the roof over my kids' heads, and our one sole investment, besides a retirement fund. We sank tens of thousands of dollars and YEARS of sweat equity to make it a nice home, and cherished and preserved the original features that survived 120 years. And people are condemning me for not letting homeless strangers (and potentially meth lab types looking for a place to cook) come in and trash it? ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS????
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-18-10 06:17 AM
Response to Reply #160
180. Only people who have never worked for anything
Edited on Thu Feb-18-10 06:17 AM by pipoman
or are extremely naive would think this is a good idea. The idea that a home is better off with someone living in it is utter nonsense...people can do more damage in a week than sitting empty for 2 years.
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-18-10 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #180
184. I can almost understand if they're only talking about houses that are in such
Edited on Thu Feb-18-10 09:09 AM by TwilightGardener
bad shape that they are almost uninhabitable and have no significant market value--even then, it's still someone's possession, it's up to the owner. Hey, I'm not driving our other car today--it's vacant. I should leave the keys inside with the engine running, next to a bus stop--how dare I hog it all for myself? I just make the payments. I'm sure whoever borrows it will bring it back in good shape, with gas.
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endless october Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 01:04 PM
Response to Original message
6. unfortunately, empty homes don't last.
the ones in my town have been empty for a few years and they are falling in from lack of heat during the winter.


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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
19. There are also homeless people "falling in from lack of heat during the winter."
How many homeless people have died this winter??????
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #19
27. This is a matter of life and death!
Good point- and we have no time to lose!!
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #27
32. It just doesn't seem to be a matter of urgency for most "progressives".
:shrug: :cry:
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #19
110. just because there's a house- it doesn't mean that there's heat.
somebody has to pay the utility bills.

and a lot of foreclosed houses have been damaged/vandalized to the point where they cannot safely be lived in, either.
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CanonRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
7. These numbers don't make a lot of sense to me.
What happened to the other 15 million people not in those home (assuming 1 person per home, which is ridiculous). If they all moved to apartments, the rental vacancy rate should be zero and rents should be sky high. Not true. So where are they, or are the homeless numbers vastly understated?

Just sayin'.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. but the rental vacancy rate is high, they say
So it appears that people are doubling up, moving back with grandma, AND I believe the number of homeless is way understated. Just in my family, three people are living in an apartment over a garage belonging to a friend, and a family of four are living with grandma. They are homeless due to economics, but housed for now.
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
16. That's what I ended up doing...
doubling up with a friend, ironically, in one of those vacant homes that the owner had been unable to sell (house was an inheritance from parents who died a couple of years back). It's been a little neglected and a little worse for wear, but hell, it's an inexpensive roof over our heads.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #16
24. I'm glad you found a solution! Unfortunately, there really aren't individual solutions...
this is a societal problem, and it will require societal answers.

Glad you are safe and warm for now! :pals:
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #24
36. Thank you, bobbolink!
Come on down, there's squatting opportunities aplenty on this street!

OK, sorry, bad joke, but seriously, I think happy_liberal may be on to something worth pursuing. The houses on this street don't look anything like the picture of that gutted out house in TX. Most of them are vacant for the same reason as the one I'm in now. Shit, the house across the street from me has been on the market since we moved in, and the asking price is an unbelievable $34,900. It's bank owned (according to the county website) and the previous owner paid almost $100,000 for it back in 2002. I'd be willing to bet that the previous owners did not put down $65,000 down and then just walk away..... the greedy fucken banks are gonna end up taking it in the shorts anyhow (nah, couldn't work with the homeowners on a payment plan, but will end up selling in a foreclosure for pennies on the dollar to someone else????).

All the remaining TARP money could be used to hire people to rehab those homes that are still rehab-able (?) and turn them into something like "Habitat for Humanity" for all those homeless, and those at risk of becoming homeless.

At any rate, this may be a place to start. What do you think?

Take care of yourself, bobbolink!

:pals:
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #36
43. 34,900!!! I think the govt. could afford quite a few houses at that rate...
now how do we get a lobbyist to write some legislation for us?
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #43
50. Good question!
I hope that you have some better answers than me!

Anyone????
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #36
45. Of course its a place to start! BUT, do you see that kind of interest here?
THAT is what I'm getting at, and what I get back is lectures on "being nice".

What is that quote about no power has ever been ceded easily? We have been nice, we have been polite, we have asked graciously.

And what we get back from that, with few exceptions, is crickets.

So, they think they will guilt us with lectures on being nice, and not being angry.

It worked so well for all the other civil rights struggles, didn't it?

They put all that energy into castigating me, when they could put that energy into seeing a possibility for action, and gathering some folks together to organize it and carry it forward.

What a concept.

We're left to try to organize it and do it all ourselves, and then get told we should "get involved".

Words fail. :nuke:

Thank you for helping with our project, and lets see if we can actually find some people who would like to take this kind of action instead of playing parent!

Thanks for sharing your experience! :yourock: :pals:

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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #45
49. I see two of us with that kind of interest..
And while I can't answer for happy_liberal, I'm sick of sitting on my ass and doing nothing.

My friend and I are seriously thinking about driving to DC on March 20th for the protest rally. I imagine a lot of angry folks are thinking about joining in unison with their own agenda. Maybe one of mine will be housing for the homeless!

And as always bobbolink, you are very welcome!

Peace,
t.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #49
54. I hope sincerely that you decide to take on that agenda, because it is an unpopular one
It isn't sexy.

It doesn't gain you friends.

It doesn't make you sleep better.

BUT IT IS NECESSARY!

A small group of us have some ideas for you, if you'd like to contribute your talents where it will be VERY appreciated.

Your "ass" would be welcome in our chairs. :hi: :yourock:
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #54
60. Well hell, honey, I ain't too sexy either!!!!
Just a beat up ol' lady with a lot of time and enough anger to keep me from sleeping well anyhow!

E-mail and let me know. I will check in a little bit.

t.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #60
63. .
:rofl:

Are you sure you aren't ME? :rofl:

email on the way...... :hi:
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #63
69. No, as far as I know, I'm here and your'e there.....
Ha Ha!

:toast:
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #69
70. Edit; spellcheck; YOU"RE...
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #70
71. Shit, got it wrong again.
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #69
103. you two are cracking me up
:rofl:
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #103
112. I'm sorry.
:hi: :pals:
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BR_Parkway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. They've moved back in with family - someone who used to be in a
1 bedroom apartment teams up with someone else and rents a 2 bedroom - vacancy rates are rising in almost all rental markets
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. "or are the homeless numbers vastly understated?"
probably! and many people are crashing and friends and family...
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
22. Homeless numbers are always vastly understated.
Always.
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galileoreloaded Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #7
104. Monster overhang dude..........n/t
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cutlassmama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #7
105. they are living in campers or tents or have moved in with family members or friends.
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reformist2 Donating Member (998 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
10. Keep in mind a lot of these homes are in ghost towns.
It's not as simple as just putting people without homes into houses without people.
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snooper2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. and most of them look like this...


4919 Leland Avenue Dallas, TX 75215$6,000 Loading Payment...|Estimate My Monthly Payment|Get Mortgage Rates 2 Bed, 1 Bath | 1,024 Sq Ft on 0.13 Acres (5,662 Sq Ft Lot) | MLS #11333334 | Refreshed 8 minutes ago

Value in land.Property is not habitable.Use caution when showing.



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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. jobs program
Jobs can be created to repair and prepare homes for low income housing, large homes can be converted to duplex, rooms with separate entrances etc.
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #15
26. THANK YOU!!!!
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Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #15
85. Creating jobs AND giving homeless people a HOME!
AWESOME!
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #10
25. It would be a start.
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
12. Many would take significant renovation in order to get a Certificate of Occupancy
They are empty and will stay that way until renovated and brought up to code, or torn down.
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. sounds like a great jobs program!
What could be more important. We need jobs, we need housing...and we the people need to start demanding our 'representatives' do something for US!
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Lance_Boyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Someone has to pay the person who's new job it is to rehab the house.
Not to mention that those empty houses (and the property on which they sit) BELONG to someone.

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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #20
30. Govt jobs program- Govt purchases foreclosed homes at auction
WE deserve a bailout too...the American people need it a helluva lot more than the fat cat banker bastards...
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Lance_Boyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #30
34. OK, maybe you don't realize that 'the govt' is you and me - our tax $$$.
So YOU and ME buy houses at auction - we give our tax dollars to the banks who hold these foreclosed homes. Woohoo for the bankers - they have more of our money, and no more foreclosed home to sell. So now the govt (you and me) own these houses. Who do we give 'em to? And while you're pondering that one, I want to throw my hat in the ring to receive a free house. I had to pay for mine all on my own. That kinda sucked, as I could've enjoyed much beer and vacation with that money. So we should probably have a system in place to make sure that whoever we give our new houses to did not actually spend all their house-buying money on beer and vacations. 'Cuz I'd be pretty pissed to have lived a relatively austere life saving up enough to buy the house when my neighbor spent all his time partying with the beer and the vacations and now gets a free house funded by my tax dollars. Maybe we should also buy him some more beer and send him on a few more vacations while we're at it?

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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #34
39. "Woohoo for the bankers?" They just gave them a trillion dollar bailout for NOTHING!
Perhaps we can ask for our money back...in houses...
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #34
66. Hey dude, CHILL!!! We are brainstorming here,
and throwing out some ideas! This is a healthy thing to do! Hell, I took a beating on my house, too, but come on, lighten up, OK? No one is talking about taking eminent domain on your house.

Please, by all means, brainstorm with us; give us some ideas of your own, cuz I'm assuming that that's why you read the OP to begin with, but it's not necessary to go ballistic on folks.

t.
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #20
46. Do you think that that would cost anywhere in the same ballpark
as the bank bailout?

Most folks in this situation do not require stainless steel appliances or granite countertops...

Do you see my point? That the financial situation was considered in imminent danger, and was acted upon with the utmost urgency, and while most of us found the bailout distasteful at the time, we were told that it was necessary to keep the economy from completely collapsing.

Now, why can't we apply the same urgency and equal amounts of money to the emergency of the homeless, whose numbers must be growing on a daily basis. Seems to me when the government sees an absolute necessity (ie, financial bailout, wars), the money is there, no questions asked.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #46
123. Well, shitfire. ...if I can't have granite countertops, I'll stay in my car!
So there, liberal!

:rofl:
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 02:09 AM
Response to Reply #123
129. You go, bobbolink!
Hang on to those principles and never let 'em take away your dignity! Formica??? PUHLEASE!!!

:headbang:
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #18
29. If enough "progressives" would start agitating for this, maybe "MAYBE" some progress could be made?
Yet, there doesn't seem to be that interest.

Why would that be?

Thank you for your continued interest, happy_liberal! :pals:
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #12
28. So, there is a fine "progressive" initiative, is it not?
An organization of progressives come together, see the problem, and find solutions to getting vacant property habitable.

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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
21. That's "free" market CAPITALISM!
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RedCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #21
41. Exactly! The solution even to asteroid impacts!
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
23. Funny, I was just looking out my window and thinking the same thing...
3 more house on my street went up for sale just this weekend, and there already at least 6 vacant ones. Most of the vacant ones have those notices from the city taped up on their doors. Why can't the government invest in those houses and offer them as AFFORDABLE HOUSING for the homeless? Checking the county web site, there are 112 foreclosures in my zip code alone.

That might be a place to start, contacting our Representatives. I'm pretty sure I've got a good congress critter.

What does anyone else think?

Oh, and by the way, thanks for the OP, happy_liberal.
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #23
33. If they could be bought, renovated, and sold for a profit, they would be
If the government is going to do it at a loss, where is the money going to come from? More borrowing from China and Japan? Higher taxes?
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #33
40. I would be so little compared to the amount they already have wasted
it would be next to nothing, a tiny percentage.

After the trillion dollar bailouts, wasted money on the stimulus (like paying Boeing to clean up the mess they were fined for making)...talking about the small amount of money required is like Republicans blaming social programs for their high taxes meanwhile ignoring the boated military industrial complex which is where over half their tax dollar goes.
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #40
44. It would probably cost the economy over $2 trillion to renovate them.
Suppose you renovate about 10 million, for 30,000 each. That's $300,000 billion that the government has to borrow.

However, adding 10 million renovated houses to the market would mean that the prices of the rest of the housing stock would be depressed. So 100 million houses with a price decrease of $20,000 each is another $2 trillion.

So $2.3 trillion total impact to the economy.

(Plus, who's going to make up the lost income of all those real estate agents getting 6-7% on all the sales?)
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #44
55. Hate to tell you this,
but realtors already ARE and HAVE BEEN losing income...
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #44
57. I think your numbers are off
"10 million renovated houses to the market"

I'm not talking about fixing up houses and returning them to the market.

I'm talking about Govt. purchasing homes at auction on the cheap and setting them up as low income housing.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #44
124. Oh, OK, then, you're right. Burn down the suckers. That'll be a cheap fix.
:eyes:
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #33
64. Please, don't bother these folks with the details!
It doesn't help them maintain the fantasy world they live in.
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #64
77. Hey, I like my fantasy world very much, thank you.
Leave reality out of it.

:)
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #23
62. The houses have some market value. The owner be it a bank or whom ever wants the market value
for the house. If the government could afford to buy the houses at market value how do they get repaid? Or is your idea that the government buys the house and gives it to someone? That person gets a house worth a couple thousand dollars and they have instant equity right? I'm sure that will go over well! You pay taxes and give some homeless person a couple thousand dollars while you maintain the same standard of living.

It makes sense when the right thinks all we want is the government to solve all our problems!


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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #62
82. Actually, I was thinking more on the lines of affordable housing,
for either purchase or rent. I don't think that simply giving someone a house would work out very well, either. Not everyone wants to actually own their own home, but everyone does need a roof over their heads.

You're a county worker; you know as well as I do how many folks are first time applicants for some type of public assistance. The way I see it is that there are millions of folks on UI right now, and huge amounts of them are about to receive their last benefit check. And you gotta know that there's a whole shitload of jobs out there that just don't pay a living wage. On the other hand, you have what, 15 million vacant homes? There seems to me to be 2 separate problems, and a solution in the middle.

At some point, we gotta start thinking about ways to take care of each other, like it or not. Any practical suggestions you can bring to the table would be greatly appreciated.

t.
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change_notfinetuning Donating Member (750 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
35. And 6 people looking for a job for every job opening. We need to create jobs
for the unemployed, instead of giving rich people more welfare/tax cuts. Then the newly employed, whether homeless or doubling up with relatives or friends/strangers, will be able to afford some of the empty dwellings and the system will work much better. That's assuming the powers that be want the system to work better, as opposed to wanting an oversupply of labor resulting in cheaper labor costs, and more empty homes so the rich can buy more of them, and get more bang for the buck.
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #35
113. Thank You!!!!
By George, I think you've got the concept.....

:)
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
37. Oh, you're just being "negative!" ...wait till all those jobs come back
:sarcasm:
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
42. This idea has a LOT of problems.
Too many to list really, but I like the intent behind the idea. Surely the govt would have to reward the banks/lenders somehow, and then create (I hate this word) "an official class" for the homeless, I guess.

To me it seems far easier to not have endless wars that will cost a trillion dollars, and better use that money (in this case) for our homeless population. How hard could it be to build large structures in each city or borough that could house a few thousand folks? Hell, we seem to be able to throw up prisons pretty well. Make it like a barracks. Places to sleep, shower, get changes of clothes, a job placement assistance office with internet access and the guests can come and go as they please. Is it perfect? No, of course not, and seeing as how I'm an idiot, surely somebody could improve vastly on the idea.

Seriously, how hard can it be?
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SallyMander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #42
47. Would that my taxes could go to helping the homeless

rather than Iraq and Afghanistan.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #47
125. Thank you, Sally! Its good to know that Somebody values us!
:hi:
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #42
51. Among which are that a lot of vacant houses are in urban areas controlled by Democrats
Democrat politicians that are in the pocket of urban real estate moguls and property developers.
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #42
52. the homeless need homes, not shelters
Besides lack of privacy or real safety, shelters are unhealthy.

Shelters are a bandaid, we need solutions!

We need to look at the cause of the hurting.

And it seems to me that changing these already abandoned homes over to low income housing would be cheaper and faster than building a new shelter.
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #52
59. The houses may be empty but not abandon I think.
There are many empty houses in my neighborhood. The owners bought them at the height of the housing bubble. The borrowed a couple hundred thousand over what they are worth now. The lost a job or for some reason could not make the payments. They are out, the house is for sale by the bank.

My idea is to not put them out of their houses in the first place. They could be offered a lease option on the house at some rate the can afford, maybe adjustable as their means improve. They no longer have a mortgage but are paying rent plus a payment toward a down payment in a future date. The price is set today. In the future, say two years, if they can get back on their feet they get a new mortgage at the price set. The bank is not out but also gets money toward the eventual resale to the renters.
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #59
67. My idea is to not put them out of their houses in the first place.
Oh hey, good ideas, I'm with ya there.

I think there are still plenty of abandoned homes as well, that are just deteriorating and need someone to live in them lest they are devalued even further. I don't want anyone kicked out, I'm talking foreclosed homes already on the auction block on the cheap.
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #67
81. Someone has to come up with the money!
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #81
94. we spend $500,000 to kill each enemy soldier
"it is estimated that we spend $500,000 to kill each enemy soldier, while we spend only fifty-three dollars for each person classified as poor, and much of that fifty-three dollars goes for salaries to people that are not poor."

MLK
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #94
96. I understand what you are saying.
Here's my problem. We say put homeless people in empty houses. Pay for it with the defense budget.

Both of those ideas are good ideas but they are not going to happen. You know that as well as I do. We spend all our time like this while the right is building more think tanks, more ways to spend money on elections, more tea bag parties.

When are we going to get real?
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #96
138. Sounds to me like you're doing what you got mad at me for doing, right?
You're chastising us for not doing anything.

While I agree with you, you happen to be chastising the few here who ARE presently involved in just what you are saying to do.

As I said earlier, I, too, am tired to death of the constant repeating of the same repeating of the same stuff. We ALL here know the military budget is bloated, and saying that over and over and over and over and then figuring that solves everything, conversation ended and we go on to the next topic is worse than useless. Nothing happens, and we pat ourselves on the back for being so smart that we know what the problem is.

What I disagree with you on is that you are criticizing people here for doing some brainstorming.
DU is mostly an inactive place, and when people are talking about what can be done, that needs to be cheered! There is always a starting point in any action, and seeing what needs to be done is a very good starting point. It needs to be encouraged, and to help more people to actually see that they CAN do something.

Someone here mentioned a Constitutional amendment, and I can see you rolling your eyes, and loudly proclaiming "We know that will never happen." Well, maybe so, but just organzing something like that has a lot of value. And just a few days ago, someone on Thom Hartmann, I think it was, talked about the ERA amendment, and how it has never been passed, but the work on it caused a lot of discussion and led to some improvements. So, you see, doing SOMETHING, even if you think it is useless, is better than doing NOTHING, which is what has been done for over 30 years now.

I don't like it when DUers shout, "Well, then, what's YOUR idea?", but I *would* like to hear what *you* think is "workable". As someone said, this is an CRISIS, and it is imperative that we do more than argue back and forth. We would welcome your ideas, too. Suffering people are waiting for us to take action.
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #138
151. The money for helping the homeless in any way comes from taxes.
Edited on Wed Feb-17-10 04:10 PM by county worker
Also the homeless issue is a state issue. All current funding for the 10-11 fiscal year is being planned now with the resources available. The only new revenue source this year was the ARRA money. (the stimulus) That ARRA is only filling in holes that already existed.

Here's what I think can be done. We need to raise money that is earmarked for homeless programs. That is either increased federal taxes passed on to the states or increase in state taxes. That is hard to do but in some cases it is doable using the argument that employment lags in an improving economy. There could be bond measures on the ballots. Also another stimulus aimed at those hardest hit by the recession namely the homeless and unemployed.

The idea that I think is worth trying but probably will never happen since single payer is a similar idea, is that government get into the manufacturing business and build here what we ship over seas and compete with those who send jobs overseas by hiring the homeless and unemployed. I also think that government should help reduce the expenses of business who do not ship jobs overseas so that labor is not the one expense that needs to be cut. We could subsidize utilities costs or provide interest only loans for expansion and capital equipment.

Basically we need to attack the causes of homelessness which is mental health, drug and alcohol abuse and chronic unemployment.


I could go on but I need help from others to come up with more ideas. These could happen if we can put more progressives in to positions of power. We need to reverse the corporatizing of our government.
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #151
154. We need low income housing- there are employed homeless people
We had a 35 year old homeless man die in Anchorage over the summer. He was living and working out of his truck. He was murdered for the $6 he had in his pocket. He was working but did not make enough to cover rent and expenses.

"attack the causes of homelessness which is mental health, drug and alcohol abuse and unemployment"

These are the stereotypes, but there are employed families, people on disability etc. who cannot afford rent because there is not enough low income housing.

The real cause of homelessness is lack of housing.
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #154
158. I agree but the housing has to be paid for also.
The reason there is not enough low income housing is because there is no profit in it. If you could raise people to the middle class there would be less need for low income housing.

A developer will not build low income housing unless he/she is subsidized.

Saying we need more low income housing without saying where we are going to get the money to pay for it is only 1/2 the solution. All I am saying is that we can come up with ideas but we leave the hard part out of the equation. I guess that is not what this board is for as someone pointed out to me.

Hell anyone can say what you did. Doing it is another thing!
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #158
166. And anyone can spread lies that hurt the most vulnerable people.
Congradulations are injuring those you consider beneath you.

Your disdain comes across very clearly.
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #158
167. Instead of $200 billion for Afghanistan, we have $200 billion for low income housing
the govt buys the homes at auction, they rent them out. There are plenty of homes to purchase and refurbish(also creating jobs) so there will be cheap rental rooms/homes for everyone.

No one is trying to make a profit so everyone benefits. (kinda like health care)
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #151
165. Oh, so there are no foundations or churches who have done anything?
Your information is very faulty. You need to recheck your sources.

"Basically we need to attack the causes of homelessness which is mental health, drug and alcohol abuse and chronic unemployment."

Again, you are spreading false information, and keeping the ignorant stereotypes alive. If you were to spread these kinds of falsehoods about any other group here on DU, you would be attacked wildly. Just try spreading ignorant stereotypes about gays, or minorities or women here, and see what you get.

But, you won't do that, will you. You will go after those who you KNOW are NOT protected and supported by "progressives", because you can get your jollies from hurting those who have no voice.

Such integrity.

NOT.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #165
169. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-18-10 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #151
175. "the causes of homelessness ... "
The only one of those items on your list which is really substantially correct is chronic unemployment.

The idea that most homeless people are either mentally ill or addicts is a really harmful stereotype, and it's just not true.

It is true that Reagan dumped a whole lot of people who had been living in institutions onto the street in the 80s. Many of those people never should have been institutionalized to begin with, None of them had the living skills or support to survive on their own, so of course they ended up on the street. But that does not mean that 30 years later people who becomes homeless have a mental illness. That's absurd.

People in all walks of live are addicts. Saying that homeless people are addicts is a back-handed way of blaming homeless people for drug problems. Just like poor people are always being blamed for the crimes middle class and rich people commit. "God forbid" that people with money be held responsible for what they do.

The only cause of homelessness is not having enough money on a consistent basis to sustain a home. That means having a job with a consistent living wage, and not having family and friends to fall back on for temporary financial assistance when times are tough.

Many people can borrow a bit of money here and there in an emergency, and people in need often loan money back and forth around their family and friends as needed. The one who needs it now might be borrowing it soon, and vice versa. But isolated people, people who are alone, can't participate in these kinds of networks, and fall into homelessness more easily.

That means the more we have smaller families, only children of only children, with no extended family to call upon, where someone also may not be social enough to have a close network a friends to make up for the lack of a large family, people are at risk in hard times.

So unemployment, or underemployment, and family/social isolation are real causes of homelessness.

I'd have to see a study showing how common mental illness is among homeless people compared to the general public before I'd accept that as anything more than a bullshit stereotype. The same goes for addiction.
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-20-10 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #175
192. Exactly.
"...unemployment, or underemployment, and family/social isolation are real causes of homelessness."
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #59
86. Excellent idea!
And the bank then knows that that "tenant" has the ability to pay that amount, and can fairly safely give them a mortgage.

t.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #52
155. it depends on the homeless person in question
many homeless in my area are crack users, there is no question that a shelter (where they are not allowed to use that night) is far more healthy than a private home (where they can indulge unseen)

i once lived near a slumlord's rental house where the crackhead cooking her crap set the house on fire, and killed her 7 yr old son -- in that case was the crackhead (or her son anyway) truly better served by cheap rental housing than she would have been in a shelter?

nothing in this life is cut and dried

SOME homeless, who are homeless by reason of the economy, would be better served in a private home BUT these are the people least likely to be long term homeless anyway

we can't simply pull names out of a hat and assign them to an empty house and say "go" and pretend that's healthy
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #155
170. So, since you "knew" ONE person, you are projecting that onto Others?
Have you ever read any of the actual facts?
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #42
58. Thank you for your intelligent response.
Yes, obviously this idea has a lot of problems, but here we all are, brainstorming about what might be possible and how the particulars could be worked out.

And no, I don't think you're an idiot.

:)
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
56. I wonder if anyone in this discussion can project into the future what will happen if their
particular idea happens?



Empty homes, homeless people, put homeless people in empty homes, problem solved. End of discussion right?

Kind of reminds me of the pro life people. No abortions means lives saved. End of discussion right?

Does anyone understand the consequences of these ideas?
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #56
65. I'm seeing homeless people instead living in warmth and safety
In larger cooperative homes, one person could be paid to run the household to prevent problems.

Oh my gawd, the government has to pay for that too?!!*&^

Do you know how much money is wasted on hiring 'professionals' to study the homeless, talk the homeless into going to shelters etc? We have people in anchorage pulling a salary to study the homeless which ended in their solution of kicking them all out of their makeshift campground right before winter. These social workers might be unemployed and homeless themselves if they weren't intercepting the money meant for the homeless. If that money was instead used to provide housing for the homeless instead...


What do you perceive to be the possible problems? WE are having a discussion here, throw out some specifics...
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #65
72. You are making too much sense.
You need to stop doing that.

:hi:
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #65
73. In some other posts I said. these homes are owned by someone.
That person be it the bank or whoever wants to get rid of the house at market value. That means in this scenario the government buys up vacant houses at market value or the owner takes less. That would lower all the home values in the neighborhood. The government would have to borrow the money increasing the deficit. The government would have to be repaid if the houses were not sold. How is the homeless person going to maintain the house, pay the utilities, pay rent or a mortgage to the government?

Who is going to pass a law giving a homeless person and asset worth a couple of thousand dollars using taxes paid by people who don't get the same advantage?

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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #73
74. I'm guessing yours is a red county?
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #74
80. No it is Santa Barbara County, CA
Edited on Tue Feb-16-10 04:13 PM by county worker
You and many here don't understand how life works or you wouldn't make some of the statements you do. Right now we are working on our 10-11 fiscal year budget. We are 6 million dollars short! What that means to operate at the same level as 09-10 fiscal year we need to find $6 million in revenue that doesn't exist! We cannot operate with a deficit. For every dollar we spend we have to have a dollar in revenue. That revenue comes from taxes, Federal, State and local. There is a recession on. Tax revenues are down. That means services have to be cut!

Money is the key! Find the money and the problem is solved. You don't solve it by coming up with some nice fix and knock people who know it won't work!
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #80
95. I think most of us were thinking of Federal money,
not State money. And you may not understand how life works for a homeless person, or you wouldn't make some of the statements that you do, either. Being a former county worker myself (City and County of Denver)I know how precarious government jobs are. In Colorado, we had a similar situation as California does now. We had the TABOR amendment, which totally devastated a huge part of the State, County and Municipal government jobs. Which is why I am a FORMER county worker, our whole unit was laid off in September, 2005. I have a college degree, and yet I haven't found a "real" job since....... the point being that we are ALL pretty vulnerable right now, as much as we don't want to think about it.

Again, I think it was Federal, not individual State money that was in discussion.
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #95
99. +1
thank you :hi:
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OneTenthofOnePercent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #95
101. Federal money is not magical money.
When federal money buys it, it just means EVERYONE pays for it.
Sure, you cannot print money out of thin air without consequence.
You either have to borrow it or take an inflationary hit.

That's not even the biggest problem. What about the social consequence of such actions?
I'll be honest... if the government was "giving away" homes to the homeless I would stop my mortgage payment RIGHT NOW.
Why throw away 1/2 of my salary when I can get it for free? I'll bet alot of others follow suit as well.
It'd probably be a few months before I get evicted and then I just have to go sign up for my free house.
Yup, you start giving away homes, and the lower middle class will walk away from thier mortgages in droves.

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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #101
108. Between you and me,
what did you think about the federal bailout of the banks? Did you feel that it was a necessary evil, but had to be done?

Second, I (and I can't speak for others) did not advocate any free homes. I can understand your frustration, but don't state that I am advocating for "free homes" when I'm not. I don't think that that would be a terribly good solution.

What are your ideas?

t.
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OneTenthofOnePercent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #108
137. The bailout did not have to be done.
For every choice there is consequence. I don't think the bailout was needed.
It's was junt one of a few options chosen to deal with the problem.

Certainly, there would have been grave consequences for failing banks and the economy as a whole.
This would have led to ALOT of social and economic changes. Many people would loose jobs, and many be made homeless.
It would have been very reminicent of the great depression. I do however think that flushing the bad banks and assets would have led to a much speedier recovery after the initial financial/seconomic impact. With healthy business and investment models preserved in the ecomony and the toxic ones flushed, the economy would be poised for healthy regrowth. I think this would have been the right aleit difficult and unpopular course of action. As it stand now, we may not bear the true brunt of the economic meltdown... but even our children's children will be paying for it. That's not right, imo.

It's sort of a would you rather problem.
Would you rather have one splitting migrane for the 1 hr or dull headache for a week?
Yank the band off quickly or slowly peel it away?

I feel getting it over with is the right course of action.
However, the bailout was effective at preserving a minimally functioning economy.
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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #137
148. I agree completely.
Instead, we are going to try to recover with the same old ideas that got us into this mess. They are already working on inflating the next bubble. Bubble economics is not a way to build a sustainable economy. We have to look beyond the next quarter, but the corporate elite want their payoff now, not years from now. And at what expense for the rest of us & our country?

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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #95
106. The federal money is passed on to the states and that is passed on to us.
I was homeless in San Diego for a while. I spent a some minutes talking to homeless people in San Francisco this weekend.

I prepare grant submissions for HUD homeless grants.

Federal dollars become state dollars that become county dollars. If there was a new Federal homeless program it would go to the States as a block grant. The counties apply for block grant money. The counties spend the money on Community Based Organizations which are non profits that work with homeless. Also counties get Medicaid money which is past to the Sates first then to the counties. Ours is called medical. The feds pay 50% of the cost and with ARRA they add another 1.59%. The other part comes from local funds. There always is a match that local governments pay.

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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #80
111. That is correct.
Nobody understands it except you.

Thank you for your compassion.

See you on the street.....
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #73
92. But you assume that all homeless are jobless......
And that is simply not always the case. And as far as lowering the home values in the neighborhood, honestly, think about what those vacant/for sale homes are doing to the current home values. That is part of the problem right now, that most homeowner are already "underwater", and that's part of the trouble with the whole "toxic asset" and TARP program part that was designed to help homeowners; figuring out the current value of the home.

And I don't think anyone was talking about (or meaning to suggest) actually GIVING anyone a house.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #92
141. Exactly right! People who are too old, too sick, too injured to work are constantly ignored.
Send us out to the ice floes (the ones that still exist) and be done with us already!
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #65
79. I am in that business you talk about.
HUD gives grants to provide shelter to homeless people. The workers do the administration which if not done there would be no grants.

Medicaid pays for treatment of the metal illness and welfare of the homeless that the social workers help.

There isn't enough money to go around to help all those we could help. We would help everyone of them if there were.

What you don't seem to understand that in everything in life there are limits and constraints. You do the best you can within them.

It is easy to come up with some simple solution to a complex problem then blame people who are trying to do something about it for the problem. You are part of the problem too!
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #79
107. Yes, we are ALL a part of the problem....
I don't disagree with you, however, I'm not blaming anyone in particular (at least I don't think do, anyway). Municipal government work their asses off, trust me, I know, I used to be one of them. However, I suppose that in this warped society, I have been on BOTH sides, and am looking for some sensible solutions...... I UNDERSTAND how hard you all work; I did that same type of work almost 5 years ago, dealing with the same type of clients, however, NOW I'M ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DESK, so to speak, and I'll tell ya, Karma is hell. The intellectual side of me is well aware of the limits and constraints; the emotional side is living something that I never, NEVER imagined that I would be living in......?????

Just pointing the finger and blaming on your side is going to do no more good than the any finger pointing on the other side.....

What can be an equitable solution? An what will work for what this economy has become?
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #107
143. Thank you, proud! Constantly telling us it can't be done means more suffering, more death.
The defensiveness is part of the problem, and we need to get back to what you talked about earlier... this is a CRISIS, and it is imperative to break through any and all barriers!

Thanks for understanding that. I'm sorry that it came in such a personally painful way, but maybe that is what has to happen.

:pals:
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #79
142. Interesting you assume that most if not all, homeless people have "metal"illness.
That is one stereotype that is very damanging, and needs to be confronted.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #142
156. a great many homeless people DO have mental illness
if you are really what you claim, if you truly associate with homeless people, you know that for a stone fact

denial is never helpful when dealing with mental health issues, and it's least helpful of all when dealing w. substance abuse issues

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maryf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #156
159. about 20% have mental disability or drug problem...that's the fact...
That means 80% don't, that's a lot of people who don't...the main cause of homelessness is lack of affordable housing, or, I guess we should say, lack of available affordable housing...

where do you get off questioning this person's veracity? I can vouch for her, if you need that...
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #159
164. Thank you, Mary. The deepest hurt comes from those who call themselves "progressive"
And, if they are going to claim they know that a large percentage of homeless people have "metal illness", then I guess I have every right to claim that a large percentage of "progressives" enjoy causing others pain and distress.
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maryf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #159
168. My Bad, 25% are mentally ill or addicted...many are vets...
Edited on Wed Feb-17-10 06:52 PM by maryf
Considering that 30% of homeless are Vets it really brings home the expression Support our Troops, heh? I think the number was lower until the recent ptsd incidences...I recall 20% from a couple years ago...
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #156
163. SIXTEEN PERCENT.
SIXTEEN PERCENT.

And, thanks so much for slamming me.

How very progressive of you.
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maryf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #163
171. I think our differential is due
to the addition of drug addiction on my part, in case anyone was wondering... :hi:
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #171
172. Very true, Mary, and I suspect each source is going to report a bit of a difference.
But the point is, NONE of them are saying the vast majority of homeless people are "metal ill".

That destructive and misinformed piece of stereotype must go away, and immediately.

:yourock: :pals:
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #56
90. Well, I see where you're going...
and no, I don't think that it's quite that simple, end of discussion. Much as I hate to say it, there will ALWAYS be some who are homeless, just as there will always be some form of unemployment (temporary as it may be), hell, there will ALWAYS be dissatisfaction and unhappiness. So no, we can't end the discussion, because our society will not always be in this fucked up mess (God, I hope not, anyhow), at some point, we will be employed again, earning living wages again, and not always feeling this sense of desperation.

At some point, I hope that whatever all of us "brains" at DU come up with for a current solution for whatever our societies problems has the flexibility to become transitional; the function of transition-able must come into play for solutions of today to work. Unlike the reform of Welfare to TANF, we must think of solutions with "what if..." in mind.

Anyhow, please go on.....
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #90
93. I work in government where these kinds of problems are addressed every day.
Edited on Tue Feb-16-10 05:20 PM by county worker
All good ideas cost money. The money has to come from those who have it. The short term solution is to take the money from where it is and use it where it is needed. That is tax policy. Long term we need to change the direction of our culture We are heading to a society with only rich and poor and nothing in between.

It's going to take a lot of work and planning on our parts and we have to stop thinking that we can vote in the solutions. It will take a generation if we start now. We need to start sending our kids to "liberal" camp and have them do community work so they will learn the need and how things work. We adults need to form tea party like groups that work toward the ends we want.

Coming to DU and saying simple minded things feels good but it doesn't help the cause. We need to educate ourselves so we and understand what going on! Get off our keyboards, stop demanding that someone do something, get into the game!
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #93
115. Yeah, I'd love to "get into the game"....
How 'bout you?

What's your suggestion?

t.
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #115
150. Where are you located?
Here in CA we have the Courage Campaign. It started as a fight against Prop 8. It has since expanded to cover all progressive issues.
I am trying to go to the Courage Academy

Here is the email I got, I've since applied.

Dear --




If you care about the future of California, our one-day Courage Academy training in the Central Coast will be ground zero for change on February 28.

From Camp Courage to Equality Teams and Deputy Field Organizers mobilizing activists across California, the Courage Campaign is dedicated to building progressive infrastructure in our state.

And now, we're about to launch Courage Academy -- the training program that will make 2010 a new era for progressive change in our state.

Modeled after Harvard Professor Marshall Ganz's "Movement Building" trainings, Courage Academy is a one-day intensive organizing workshop. In 2008, Ganz's model served as the basis for "Camp Obama," a training program credited with helping build the organizing base that was integral to the presidential campaign's success.

Now we're bringing Ganz's training model to California for one-day Courage Academy events across California, from the Bay Area to Orange County. Sign up here to attend a Courage Academy on the Central Coast on Feb. 28. APPLICATION DEADLINE: 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16:

http://www.couragecampaign.org/CourageAcademy

Each day that passes without progressive reform is another day that California falls further and further behind. From health care and marriage equality to equality of access to affordable education, California is failing to reflect the progressive values we hold dear.

Meanwhile, California's June and November elections are shaping up to be a critical showdown between community and big business interests. More than 90 statewide ballot propositions have been filed with election officials or proposed in the state legislature, though not all of them will make the ballot.

California's future is on the line. That's why participants at Courage Academy will work together on a strategy for building coalitions and a local base of supporters that can bring progressive reform to California in 2010.

Want real change? Attend a Courage Academy and help build a movement for progressive reform in California. Sign up now to attend Courage Academy in the Central Coast on Feb. 28. APPLICATION DEADLINE: 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16:

http://www.couragecampaign.org/CourageAcademy

Thanks for being a part of this wonderful community. We can't wait to see you at Courage Academy.

Anthony Ash
Central California Field Organizer


The Courage Campaign is an online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and netroots supporters to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country.
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-18-10 05:11 AM
Response to Reply #150
176. Hey, thanks for the info; I'm in Cleveland, OH...
That Courage Campaign sounds really interesting! I'll check out their website for any events close to home.

:)
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
68. Sounds like a great fit -- !!!
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
75. OH STOP THAT! YOUR JUST MAKING SENSE AGAIN!
:rofl:

Imagine if the gov't wrote a check for those two million of those empty homes to the tune of say 200 billion dollars (100k per home) and provided those homeless people with homes. I guess that would piss of the banks though.
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BuelahWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #75
88. The economy would have done much better if they'd put the money in the hands of the people!
:hi: Banks just sit like a bunch of constipated jerks on the TARP. Won't lend to anybody.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
76. When this article first came out, I posted Scottsdale, AZ's solution
basically the city was buying up foreclosed houses and were renting them as low-cost housing.
It was cheaper than the plan they had in place and much cheaper than the cost of the proposed building of low cost housing they had explored..

I'd like to see a move-up/move-in solution.

Since many of these places are quite large and or new (almost-new), it would make sense to offer them to people who had proved themselves as reputable renters, but needed more space, and the places they vacated would then become "available" for people desperately needing shelter...they could "earn" some of the rent by possible doing cosmetic upgrades to the older, less desirable places, and the money saved could build a "renter's equity" for them, so they too could "move-up" and into a bigger, newer place.. This would keep the rental market moving, and keep places occupied and un-vandalized :)
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #76
89. Where is the money coming from to buy them from the owners?
Whether it is the bank or whomever where is the money coming from to buy the house to rehabilitate then rent and manage the properties? In case you didn't know, States, counties and local governments are all cutting services. Counties and cities by law cannot operate with a deficit. They must have a dollar of revenue for every dollar spent.

Since tax revenues are already at record low levels, you want to add a new program so I want to know were is the revenue coming from.

It is so easy to "propose" a solution when you are not required to take everything into consideration! That's what gives liberals a bad name IMHO. Even the dumbest tea bagger knows that to do what you want takes increases in tax revenues. Local governments rely on bonds, federal and state grants, property taxes, medicare and Medicaid. That money is dwindling each year this recession goes on.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #89
91. "I" did not propose what Scottsdale IS DOING.
Apparently they are using funds they already had allocated.. Most communities do have programs in place to help poor people pay for houing , so this "option" (buying foreclosed houses at bargain rates) must have been cheaper than to continue the programs they used :)
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #89
98. you inspired me to write another post


$500,000 to kill each enemy soldier- fifty-three dollars for each person classified as poor
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #98
102. Always glad to be an inspiration.
We once thought we were going to get a peace dividend and Eisenhower warned us about the military industrial complex.

It would be good to spend the military budget domestically.
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David Zephyr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
87. Jerry Brown pointed this out in 1992 saying we could solve the homeless "problem"
Naturally, he understood that there are a lot of mentally challenged and hurt people (pushed out from care under the Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush Administrations), but the fact, happy_liberal, is a glaring one. The truth is that it has been this way for a very long time.
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #87
100. "The truth is that it has been this way for a very long time."

That is what makes it more unacceptable. We must be the change.
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
97. Obama announced 8 billion in nuclear plant loan guarantees promising "this is only the beginning"
They always seem to have the money when they want it.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 07:31 PM
Response to Original message
109. are you suggesting just turning the houses over to the homeless...?
who would pay the property taxes, the utilities, and the maintenance costs?
what would it do the already depressed housing values of the people who did it the "legitimate" way...?

i also think that there would be a HUGE amount of 'nimby' type resistance to doing anything along those lines.
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #109
120. I'm suggesting low income housing $100 room rental, $400 house rental
the proceeds of which could provide for the upkeep

The depressed housing value will get worse if half of the houses on the street are in disrepair due to being abandoned and/or foreclosed on as they are now. It would be better for the housing prices to have people live in and heat them, and of course maintain them and prevent people from gutting the houses of their wiring, fixtures etc. which is also happening quite frequently to empty homes.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #120
126. we'll get there eventually...
once the uber-haves are satisfied that the housing market has hit absolute rock-bottom, they can all scoop up bunches of them, and start renting them out to the displaced homeowners.

it's actually a lot like how they got a lot of cheap farmland to create the giants like adm and con-agra back in the 70's...tell the farmers that the land that has been in their family for generations has become uber-valuable, and they should borrow money against it to modernize their equipment. once the farmers have taken out HUGH mortgages on their farms to buy new equipment- come back and tell them that maybe their land isn't worth as much as first thought...and that means that there's no collateral for the loans, so we'll have to call them back in...oh...you can't pay the loans back right now in one lump sum like the contract you signed says we can ask you to do if for some...unforeseen...reason, your collateral should lose its value...??
well in that case we'll just take your farm...and all that new machinery and call it even...maybe.

it's a class war alright- and we haven't won any battles since fdr died.
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 02:24 AM
Response to Reply #126
130. That is one sad story.
Hope that didn't happen to any of your families farms.

:cry:
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #130
139. the movie 'country' with jessica lange and sam shepherd does a good job of showing it...
but no, our family didn't have that experience...we haven't been farmers since my great-great-grandfather's days.
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #139
140. I've never actually seen that movie...
I will make it a point to reserve it from the library.
Thanks for the reply.

t.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #140
145. it's a drama, not a documentary...
but it does a god job of dramatizing the issue.
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-20-10 06:42 AM
Response to Reply #145
191. I have requested it!
We're really lucky here; our public library has a better movie selection than some video stores I have gone to.

Looking forward to it coming in.

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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
114. I have a stupid question
If there's a glut of houses on the market, why aren't prices falling drastically?

Seems to me to be a fundamental breach of basic "free market" principles.

Shouldn't house prices be more affordable now?
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #114
116. They are in Cleveland...
of course, I don't think Cleveland ever profited in the big "housing boom" to begin with, but we sure are part of the current "bust.

t.

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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #116
117. But are people in Cleveland buying?
It's one thing to offer cheap housing, quite another to actually SELL cheap housing.

Is there enough work to support even CHEAP housing in Cleveland?
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 02:42 AM
Response to Reply #117
132. I don't think so.
As far as enough work to support cheap housing, you couldn't prove it by me!

Seriously, though, the housing is pretty cheap here. Last I checked, the average price for home sales in my zip code was a whopping $77,000! And this is a pretty damn nice neighborhood if you ask me. Nothing around here is huge or fancy, mind you, but there are a lot of nice big trees all around and the houses are pretty nicely maintained (the ones that aren't vacant, that is). A nice little mixture of working-class/middle-class homes in a city that has seen better days.

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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #117
152. The homes would not be sold, but rented for low cost

There are people who cannot work, on disability, who cannot afford rent. We need to provide low income housing so these people can live in homes. There are families on unemployment that cannot afford rent. Rental costs are out of control.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #114
119. Prices have generally fallen a great deal.
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donheld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
122. America: What have we become?
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PJPhreak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 02:41 AM
Response to Original message
131. As much as I hate to say...
Edited on Wed Feb-17-10 02:44 AM by PJPhreak
I don't think this is a solution,at least not by itself.

Yes it would benefit a lot of homeless people,but not all,probably not even 50% of the US Homeless Population.

1.There are many folk who are homeless who if given a small house to live in would not be able to take care of it,Repairs,paint,yard upkeep,roofing,plumbing,ect are above a lot of "Normal" folk's ability much less someone who has an addiction problem,mental issues or some such. These folk need more of a Real support system,not just a place to live. We can't just do something similar to St.Ronnies trick of "Here Ya Go,Take This...Now Go away" that he did with his handing people a SSI Check and then ignoring them in the hopes that once given (Either free or thru some sort of Section 8 style program)a living space they will take care of themselves.

2.We need to provide much more of a REAL support system for people with Mental Health Issues Drug Addiction/Substance Abuse!

3.More affordable housing. not just lesser expensive houses or Large Housing Units like someone mentioned upthread (That was tried at one time...they were named things like Carbrini Green.Did it work...Not to Well) but things more like SRO Hotels that are not fleabags,mixed income neighborhoods where there are housing sizes and styles of ALL sorts.

4.JOBS!!!!
At one time in this country a person with just a HS Diploma could,with a bit of hard work and smart planning could provide for themselves and their family on the income that they were capable of making,House,Car,Groceries,Monthly Utilitys,Insurance and so on.

Those jobs that made up the jobs base for three generations of Americans are gone.

They are Not Coming Back.

Without which the Housing/Homelessness problem will get worse...Much worse.

This is the one thing that will go further than anything else to helping the homeless in the US than anything...Jobs for EVERYBODY! not just those with a Degree or expensive Tech schooling of some kind...I'm talking the kind of jobs that your grandfather may have had...Making Something.

Like Cars,Refrigerators or Clothing.

We need WAY many more manufacturing jobs than we have now.Without them the middle class will wither and die and with it any hope of base prosperity.Without that prosperity there will be Many More Homeless Folk in the next few years,putting a HUGE load on the scant support system that the homeless may already have.

I was homeless for a number of years,this is not a simple problem. There are many reasons that folk end up on the streets and there are nowhere enough Government resources to get all of us the things each one might need to get off the streets and stay off. This is just gonna get worse before it gets better
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proudohioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 03:05 AM
Response to Reply #131
133. You are absolutely right.
Without jobs, all the housing in the world isn't gonna help! And I can imagine that temporary homelessness becomes permanent homelessness rather quickly. It's a huge capitalist "gotcha game" out there..... lose a job or take a pay cut, fall behind on your bills. Continued unemployment or underemployment likely means you'll lose your home (house or apartment). Now your credit is shot, and in this lovely game, you can get neither decent housing OR a job! GOTCHA!!!!!

It's all a vicious cycle. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? You really can't fix one problem and continue to ignore the other.

I believe that you are right when you state that things are gonna get worse before they get better. The fallout from the massive job losses from 2008 is just beginning....
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #131
146. oh I agree, we need many more solutions
There are actually more programs for homeless people with mental illnesses and addictions, and very few for normal people who have hit hard times.

These days, the homeless are your every day average American.

There are families on unemployment who cannot afford rent because there are no low income units available.

There are people on disability who cannot afford rent because there are no low income units available.

If we provided all the low income housing that is needed, that would get a huge percentage of homeless people off of the streets, safe and warm in homes.
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dajoki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
147. I have often wondered about this same thing n/t
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #147
149. nice signature line!
I couldn't agree more!
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
153. what common sense solution is that?
for instance i know a guy who owns an empty shell in new orleans that he can't afford to fix and that is not considered legal for human habitation -- no water, no electric, no fucking walls or wiring, etc. just a roof and some boarded-up windows to keep it from being knocked down by the city in the event that one day he wins the lottery and is able to afford to repair it

he cannot afford to pay insurance on this empty shell so what choice does he have when a crackhead breaks in and starts living there but to chase the crackhead away? crackheads burn down buildings, too often with themselves inside

my friend should let a stranger live in the house that he himself cannot afford to legally live in? if you're going to seize the property (and he probably almost wishes you would) could you at least buy him out of his mortgage?

how many of these "homes" are in fact habitable homes at this point? maybe not as many as claimed...

in any case, what are you suggesting? that people let homeless squatters take over their properties when they themselves are not allowed to live in those properties? wow, hell of a reward for not smoking crack...

it makes you wonder sometimes why anyone tries to improve themselves -- you're just gonna get knocked down and punished for trying to lift yourself up, or at least it sure seems that way

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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #153
157. I am talking about the gov't buying homes at auction
not taking anyone's home from them.

The gov't purchases homes, provides jobs to people fixing up those homes, then rents them out to low income people.

The homes are not given away, they are rentals. There are currently not enough low income rentals, and many of the ones that do exist are scummy slumlords, evil bastards taking advantage of desperation and treating people like crap and making them live in squalor and even those have waiting lists.
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-18-10 06:37 AM
Response to Reply #157
182. If you really think this is a good idea
I would suggest finding a local property management firm and volunteer to clean vacated rentals...been there and done that, and that was people who paid deposits and paid market value for rent. Low income rentals = not enough rent collected to pay property taxes, insurance, maintenance, upkeep, and still make money in return for the labor of messing with the property and interest on the cash investment. The .gov doing such a thing? The cost would be staggering.
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
161. looks like someone has already started this program illegally
Rameau is an activist who has been executing a bailout plan of his own around Miami's empty streets: He is helping homeless people illegally move into foreclosed homes.

"We're matching homeless people with people-less homes," he said with a grin.

Rameau and a group of like-minded advocates formed Take Back the Land, which also helps the new "tenants" with secondhand furniture, cleaning supplies and yard upkeep. So far, he has moved six families into foreclosed homes and has nine on a waiting list.

"I think everyone deserves a home," said Rameau, who said he takes no money from his work with the homeless. "Homeless people across the country are squatting in empty homes. The question is: Is this going to be done out of desperation or with direction?"

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,459965,00.html
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #161
162. You're gonna get yelled at for posting a link to foxnews. People
Edited on Wed Feb-17-10 06:02 PM by Obamanaut
here NEVER go to Walmart, and NEVER EVER watch foxnews, or so they say.

I think that they really do both.

Edited to add sometimes there will be a bouncy post about how they went to their auto dealership to get the car serviced and DEMANDED the teevee in the waiting room be changed from foxnews. And it was so. This will be followed by a multitude of posts saying how great that was.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-18-10 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #161
174. Thanks for finding this! I suspect there is a lot of this happening in different areas.
I think I could like Rameau! ^_^
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-18-10 06:24 AM
Response to Reply #161
181. I suspect Rameau will live to regret his involvement in this scheme.
or at least going public with it. Judges and lawyers will not find this amusing.
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