A Housing Problem? What Housing Problem?

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Seriously? We have a housing problem? The only reason why we have a housing problem is because of greed! Plain and simple!! We have bank-owned and government owned houses just sitting vacant while homeless people are sitting outside with ‘vacant’ expressions on their faces. We have people rotting in ‘warehouses’ called homeless shelters when houses are just waiting for someone to enter them and make them a home. The only reason these houses are empty is because of sheer, unmitigated greed and we all know that. Wall Street is making a killing while Main Street is reeling.

We have an agency that was created to house the poor, HUD(Housing and Urban Development)and yet those who work at HUD cannot figure out how to match houses with those who need them. The concept is already there. Thirty percent of a person’s income and the balance subsidized by HUD. Yet, HUD would rather throw taxpayer money away on slumlords who then laugh all the way to the bank when people could eventually get off the program through ‘Supportive Home Ownership’. It is not a novel concept. Let’s take a look at something:

Mortgage amount: $ 100,000
Mortgage term: 30 years or 360 months Interest rate: 4 % per year Mortgage start date:03/10/2013
Monthly Payments: $ 477.42

The homeowner’s payment would be 30% of their income and the rest subsidized by HUD(this is how Section 8 works), thereby giving the homeowner the ability to put aside funds for upkeep and taxes. Although many would most likely qualify for tax relief. This would build better neighborhoods, prevent boarded-up houses from being used by drug dealers and would keep people in homes where they would want to take care of them because of buying as opposed to renting. Residential neighborhoods where the majority of houses are owner occupied are in much better shape than rental-based neighborhoods.

Since many families never leave HUD subsidized housing, and subsidies just continue ad infinitum, why not focus more on home ownership? This would eventually drop people from the HUD subsidized list as the home would eventually be paid for. The system is not working now, so why continue with that which is broken and is not really solving the huge problem of homelessness and housing the poor? It makes no sense. In many cases, landlords are paid by HUD anywhere from $700 a month to well over $2,000 a month, year after year.
Again, why should this be the scenario?

MIAMI — Officially, there are 3.5 million homes for sale nationwide. But there are millions more lurking in the shadows — hidden neatly away on banks’ balance sheets, stalled in foreclosure court proceedings or simply occupied by nonpaying owners as lenders wait months or years before taking action.

The housing market’s ballooning shadow inventory — buoyed by a yearlong foreclosure slowdown — stands as the most menacing obstacle to the recovery of the residential real estate market.

Clustered mostly in hard-hit cities and states, there are more than 4.5 million homes either owned by lenders or headed for foreclosure. In Miami, for example, there are about 200,000 shadow homes, dwarfing the 30,000 properties that are listed on the active market.

Bank of America has owned a small two-bedroom on Northwest 80th Street in Miami since August 2008, when it repossessed the home from the estate of Lucile Moore. Three years later, the property isn’t listed for sale on the open market, part of the bank’s growing collection of unlisted properties. Bank of America didn’t respond to a request for comment about this property.

The bank hasn’t paid last year’s $2,000 property tax bill. That’s an occasional side effect of having behemoth financial institutions as property owners. In foreclosure-riddled Cleveland, financial institutions owe millions in overdue property taxes and grass-cutting fees for vacant and abandoned homes.

“I’ve seen plenty of cases where the banks don’t take care of the homes and we have to take them into court to try and get them to pay the fees,” said Mark Parks, projects manager of the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Office in Ohio.
Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/10/16/127042/millions-of-homes-lurk-on-bank.html#storylink=cpy

Obviously, there is a serious problem when banks are not paying the taxes on bank-owned property, nor are they keeping the property in good condition for resale. So, keeping the properties on the bank’s balance sheet as an asset(albeit, a non performing one) is just plain greed as opposed to working with people in order to help them stay in their homes or help people buy a home. And who is profiting by this and who is being adversely impacted? Once again, greed rules the day!

And yet, we have a housing problem? Only because we WANT to have a housing problem due to greed because it is so much better to ‘warehouse’ people in filthy homeless shelters and slumlike rental units than to help poor people obtain ‘home ownership'(that they can afford), well..isn’t it?

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