Photo By Dempster Lane
There are 18.4 million empty homes in america according to the National Law Center. And that was in 2008…..3.5 Million homeless.
Photo By DecoJim
Here in Grand Rapids there is an empty house for every 8 houses. I live next to a huge beautiful house that has been empty for a year, it is bank owned. My parents live next to an empty house that has a big barn in the back, it was foreclosed last summer. You’d think that they would lower the prices on these houses for a quick sale but mostly they are priced like it’s still 2005 and so they remain empty. Grand Rapids is one of Michigan’s healthier cities, or at lest it hasn’t become the go-to place to shoot your post-apocalyptic movie like Flint, Saginaw, Pontiac, or Detroit. I have loved houses ever since I was little and I’ve dreamed of owning one. Last summer I even tried to buy one but I didn’t have two years worth of tax records (never mind that I could have paid 75% on the down payment) so it didn’t go through. Its a lot harder to save every penny when you don’t live with your parents but I’m doing my taxes and in a couple of years I’ll try again. I think that because of growing up with both my parents working at home and us kids being unschooled, home is a very sacred place to me. It breaks my heart to see all the beautiful turn-of-the-century empty houses in my neighborhood slowly falling into disrepair.
Photo By Matthew Schrader
I wonder how many more homes will be foreclosed before something changes. There is a scene in a Michael Moore movie (maybe capitalism a love story?) where the last family living on a street of all vacant houses is getting evicted. It’s completely preposterous because the banks not going to make any money, no one is going to buy that house! But that’s just what they’ve aways done. If I was in charge I would start a house grant program that would give houses to artists, farmers, and community activists. Everyone knows that if you leave a house empty it will eventually fall apart.
Photo By Whitewall buick
Photo By Cyberoptix
Take back America’s Houses!