How many vacant homes are there in America?

Part
01
of one
Part
01

How many vacant homes are there in America?


THE 2008 FINANCIAL CRISIS

"ZOMBIE FORECLOSURES"
Many of these foreclosed homes are actually "zombie foreclosures," in which


These zombie foreclosures are extremely damaging for homeowners, and prevent homes from having new occupants as they fall into disrepair, still in the homeowner's name. This is also terrible for entire neighborhoods, devaluing other nearby homes.

SQUATTING/HOMESTEADING
Many foreclosed/vacant homes have become the homes of squatters. Some community and nonprofit organizations believe that these vacant houses should be available to the hundreds of thousands of homeless people for squatting, citing squatters rights. Squatting is often associated with crime, drugs, and violence--none of which are desirable to the rest of the neighborhood. Additionally, these vacant homes are dangerous for the squatters due to the lack of structural stability.

FAIRLY USING VACANT HOUSING
There are also humanitarian efforts to purchase foreclosed/vacant homes and buildings to convert them to affordable housing for the homeless. One organization working for these conversions is Housing Our Neighbors in Baltimore. The creation of community landtrusts may seem like common sense: homeless people + empty homes = homes for homeless people, right? Unfortunately, according to the Atlantic,


Another roadblock, according to Business Insider:


With cities and banks working against these commonsense efforts to alleviate homelessness, advocates for community landtrusts face an uphill battle.

SUMMARY
The comparison of numbers of vacant homes and the homeless population over the last eight years makes a bleak statment about housing inequality. While foreclosure rates have gone down, the housing crisis is still looming. Hopefully nonprofits and cities can begin to work together to untangle the legal and financial complexities of foreclosures and vacant properties in ways that can benefit homeless American families. Thanks for using Wonder! Please let us know if we can help with anything else!





Sources
Sources