Housing: It's a Wonderful Right

housing it's a wondeful right

This is usually one of my favorite times of the year – the holidays are approaching, the aromas of cinnamon, orange and cranberry are in the air and it’s time to rest and watch old movies on TV. One of those old movies invariably on at this time of year still resonates today — It’s a Wonderful Life. In this 1946 Jimmy Stewart film, a small town in crisis comes together to prevent George Bailey, the benevolent loan man, from being imprisoned at the behest of the millionaire slum landlord Mr. Potter.

In the last few days, the U.S. government census figures have revealed that  1 in 2 Americans have fallen into poverty or are struggling to live on low incomes. And we know that the financial hardships faced by our neighbors, colleagues, and others in our communities will be all the more acutely felt over the holiday season.

Along with poverty and low incomes, the foreclosure rate has created its own crisis situation as the number of families removed from their homes has skyrocketed.

Since 2007, banks have foreclosed around eight million homes. It is estimated that another eight to ten million homes will be foreclosed before the financial crisis is over.  This approach to resolving one part of the financial crisis means many, many families are living without adequate and secure housing.  In addition, approximately 3.5 million people in the U.S. are homeless, many of them veterans.  It is worth noting that, at the same time, there are 18.5 million vacant homes in the country.

The stark realities that persist mean that millions of families will be facing the holidays in temporary homes, or homes under threat, and far too many children will be wishing for an end to the uncertainty and distress their family is facing rather than an Xbox or Barbie doll.

Housing is a basic human need and a fundamental human right. Yet every day in the United States, banks are foreclosing on more than 10,000 mortgages and ordering evictions of individuals and families residing in foreclosed homes. The U.S. government’s steps to address the foreclosure crisis to date have been partial  at best.

The depth and severity of the foreclosure crisis is a clear illustration of the urgent need for the U.S. government to put in place a system that respects, protects and fulfills human rights, including the right to housing. This includes implementing real protections to ensure that other actors, such as financial institutions, do not undermine or abuse human rights.

Please join the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative and Amnesty International in asking the U.S. to step up its efforts to address the foreclosure crisis, including by giving serious consideration to the growing call for a foreclosure moratorium and other forms of relief for those at risk, and establishing a housing finance system that fulfills human rights obligations.

As we think back on all that Amnesty has achieved over the last year in advancing and protecting human rights, let’s do one more thing. This holiday, let’s join together like George Bailey’s friends to advance the right to housing because, apart from all the other good reasons to do so: “Housing: It’s a Wonderful Right.”

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

139 thoughts on “Housing: It's a Wonderful Right

  1. i would like to say yes that while housing is a nessecity but how can the banks continue to let people live in homes that they are not paying for. i for one have been able to avoid evection by at least paying something. there are plenty of jobs out in the country they may not be the type of jobs desirable to ceartin people but suck it up and work what job you have to work. and as far as veterans there are housing programs and other programs that are available to any one not dishonorably discharged from the armed forces. i make roughly 7.50 an hour working 20 hours a week that comes to 122-155 a week so thats 488 a month my rent is 560/ month including utilites i pay 350. im behind quite a bit but land lords are willing to work with you as long as you pay something and keep them informed. the rest goes to grocreys and paying the county transportation for taking me to work and back.

    • First of all Andrew, your spelling is attrocious. Secondly, all the homes, that the banks have forclosed on, was done so through the loaning of money that was created out of thin air. It was money that wasn't theirs to loan in the first place. For a better explanation of the Federal Reserve and centralized banking system, and the giant ponzi scheme that it is, watch "Ethos" or "Zeitgeist." They will give you a better understanding of the theft that the banks are utilizing. We are slaves to the debt propogated by this system. If you're happy being a slave to debt, you really are as dense as you sound. Our banking system serves no one but the rich, and for those banks to have the ability to evict people, based on debt that they attribute to people, is criminal.

    • You are a lovely responsible person. Let's be financially real, interest rates are a legalized form of robbery and an arbitrary fantasy often manipulated by those with it to make themselves more and they can cut some slack for our brothers and sisters. Many lose their homes by only one or two payments and losing a house over a mere couple of thousand, more than equivalent to the mortgage interest paid over the years, should by all rights be let go. Instead our friend the banker choose to show how cheap cheep cheep they are and how inhumane they are. We can watch an increase in tent cities and pay out in welfare checks or we can do the right thing and keep our hearts open and people in homes under these circumstances..

    • the banks have no right to do what they are doing and you and your landlords are playing stupid for them. firstly, if the bank does not possess the original mortgage they have no legal right to evict, check the laws and more likely if the banks have packaged the mortgage in to be securitized for wall street trading then they are probably outside the law in any eviction, but you and your landlord might not know this. Even Obama tried to stop robosigners from automatic foreclosure notices going out. Do some research.

  2. i would like to say yes that while housing is a nessecity but how can the banks continue to let people live in homes that they are not paying for. i for one have been able to avoid evection by at least paying something. there are plenty of jobs out in the country they may not be the type of jobs desirable to ceartin people but suck it up and work what job you have to work. and as far as veterans there are housing programs and other programs that are available to any one not dishonorably discharged from the armed forces. i make roughly 7.50 an hour working 20 hours a week that comes to 122-155 a week so thats 488 a month my rent is 560/ month including utilites i pay 350. im behind quite a bit but land lords are willing to work with you as long as you pay something and keep them informed. the rest goes to grocreys and paying the county transportation for taking me to work and back.

  3. Housing: It’s a Wonderful Right, yes it is! specially when you loose your life time saving and economic balance, your family stability, your emotional, phisic health, when you loose all but your life; Is just a family destruction, while others maybe at a resort or a caribean beach having fun and enjoying the life effort of many hard working families.

  4. Thanks for writing this excellent article! It is tragedy that 3.5 million are left homeless, many who did not do anything wrong. I agree with you, the US must step up its effort in addressing the foreclosure crisis. One reason is that all these vacant foreclosed homes are reducing neighborhood property values!

  5. Housing: It’s a Wonderful Right, yes it is! specially when you loose your life time saving and economic balance, your family stability, your emotional, phisic health, when you loose all but your life; Is just a family destruction, while others maybe at a resort or a caribean beach having fun and enjoying the life effort of many hard working families.

  6. Thanks for writing this excellent article! It is tragedy that 3.5 million are left homeless, many who did not do anything wrong. I agree with you, the US must step up its effort in addressing the foreclosure crisis. One reason is that all these vacant foreclosed homes are reducing neighborhood property values!

  7. My husband and I are facing foreclosure. I had to quit working at outside employment due to health issues and my husband is disabled and receiving social security. I have been denied any kind of disability from the government, even though I worked very hard for many years struggling against poverty and as a single mother. I was able to return to college late in life due to Americorps service and its education award. But I did not expect my health to begin to fail before I could take advantage of my new-found education. Now I cannot work outside the home and we do not earn enough to make our mortgage. We have begged our mortgage company to refinance us at a lower rate, which would make a substantial difference in our payment amount, but they refused. Now they are foreclosing. I occasionally make a little money as a freelancer, but is it fair to force us to be homeless due to circumstances beyond our control? We have lived in our home 12 years now. Perhaps there could be a program where your payment was a percentage of your income…especially for those who are disabled or already living near or below the poverty line–there should be some recourse. Did I mention I also provide a home for my mentally ill daughter and seven year old grandson? They also have no appreciable income.

  8. While I don't doubt this is information how can I share this horrific statement:

    In addition, approximately 3.5 million people in the U.S. are homeless, many of them veterans. It is worth noting that, at the same time, there are 18.5 million vacant homes in the country.

    without the facts, links and supportive documentation that backs it up. Please provide this information otherwise most people will question these numbers and have a hard time believing it. Most people live in their own little shell of life and can't fathom what is really going on. The only way to open eyes is with facts. The only way to motivate people to become involved is with substantiated information that they can share and discuss with others.

    I will look for this information myself because I am motivated to but to write a piece with no such supportive documentation is not worthy of the Amnesty International site and contributors. Please if you are going to bother to write the article do your due diligence.

  9. Thank you for your comments.

    The US Department of Commerce's Census Bureau estimated 19 million vacant homes in the first quarter of 2010.

    A study done by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty states that approximately 3.5 million people, 1.35 million of them children, are likely to experience homelessness in a given year (National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, 2007).

  10. My husband and I are facing foreclosure. I had to quit working at outside employment due to health issues and my husband is disabled and receiving social security. I have been denied any kind of disability from the government, even though I worked very hard for many years struggling against poverty and as a single mother. I was able to return to college late in life due to Americorps service and its education award. But I did not expect my health to begin to fail before I could take advantage of my new-found education. Now I cannot work outside the home and we do not earn enough to make our mortgage. We have begged our mortgage company to refinance us at a lower rate, which would make a substantial difference in our payment amount, but they refused. Now they are foreclosing. I occasionally make a little money as a freelancer, but is it fair to force us to be homeless due to circumstances beyond our control? We have lived in our home 12 years now. Perhaps there could be a program where your payment was a percentage of your income…especially for those who are disabled or already living near or below the poverty line–there should be some recourse. Did I mention I also provide a home for my mentally ill daughter and seven year old grandson? They also have no appreciable income.

  11. While I don’t doubt this is information how can I share this horrific statement:

    In addition, approximately 3.5 million people in the U.S. are homeless, many of them veterans. It is worth noting that, at the same time, there are 18.5 million vacant homes in the country.

    without the facts, links and supportive documentation that backs it up. Please provide this information otherwise most people will question these numbers and have a hard time believing it. Most people live in their own little shell of life and can’t fathom what is really going on. The only way to open eyes is with facts. The only way to motivate people to become involved is with substantiated information that they can share and discuss with others.

    I will look for this information myself because I am motivated to but to write a piece with no such supportive documentation is not worthy of the Amnesty International site and contributors. Please if you are going to bother to write the article do your due diligence.

  12. Thank you for your comments.

    The US Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau estimated 19 million vacant homes in the first quarter of 2010.

    A study done by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty states that approximately 3.5 million people, 1.35 million of them children, are likely to experience homelessness in a given year (National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, 2007).

  13. Last march submitted papers for a mortgage reduction in accordance with Obama law, my payments were current. Told I had to wait 3 mos… after 3mos the bank sent me papers to sign for pre-forclosure! Needless to say I threw them out and continued to pay, but have fallen 2months behind. Someone said my house was in foreclosure?? I now have only reduced SocSec, if they gave a mtg on the current value of my home, or even reduced the interest to the current rate, as the Obama legislation says, I could afford the payments. Instead they want legal action to foreclose, have to pay for it to be resold at an amount lower than the mortgage. Make sense?
    Does the Obama legislation mean anything to big banks or just something to help Obama get re-elected???

  14. there are several people here who are facing foreclosure, for that I am sorry. After working several years with the mortgage industry (not in it!!) I have found one group that will try to help with your foreclosure. As a disclaimer, I am not endorsing, nor am I an any way affiliated with them but http://www.naca.com is a non-profit program that will try to help with reworking the proposed foreclosure.

    Good luck to you all and I can only hope for a revolutionary new year!

  15. there are several people here who are facing foreclosure, for that I am sorry. After working several years with the mortgage industry (not in it!!) I have found one group that will try to help with your foreclosure. As a disclaimer, I am not endorsing, nor am I an any way affiliated with them but http://www.naca.com is a non-profit program that will try to help with reworking the proposed foreclosure.

    Good luck to you all and I can only hope for a revolutionary new year!

  16. there are several people here who are facing foreclosure, for that I am sorry. After working several years with the mortgage industry (not in it!!) I have found one group that will try to help with your foreclosure. As a disclaimer, I am not endorsing, nor am I an any way affiliated with them but http://www.naca.com is a non-profit program that will try to help with reworking the proposed foreclosure.

    Good luck to you all and I can only hope for a revolutionary new year!

  17. "The US Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau estimated 19 million vacant homes in the first quarter of 2010."

    Do you have a link to that?

  18. Last march submitted papers for a mortgage reduction in accordance with Obama law, my payments were current. Told I had to wait 3 mos… after 3mos the bank sent me papers to sign for pre-forclosure! Needless to say I threw them out and continued to pay, but have fallen 2months behind. Someone said my house was in foreclosure?? I now have only reduced SocSec, if they gave a mtg on the current value of my home, or even reduced the interest to the current rate, as the Obama legislation says, I could afford the payments. Instead they want legal action to foreclose, have to pay for it to be resold at an amount lower than the mortgage. Make sense?
    Does the Obama legislation mean anything to big banks or just something to help Obama get re-elected???

  19. If perchance the figures in this story are correct, there are way more vacant homes than homeless. Banks are not putting the foreclosed homes on the market, but instead leaving them to become weed and rat infested, and oft times occupied by the unfortunate, without benefit of utilities.

    There are the homeless who for whatever reason prefer the open air, and then there are the rest – entire families living in cars, for example.

    My proposal: If a house is bank owned and has been unoccupied for at least six months, the bank must put the house on the market at current market value. If the house does not sell within 60 days, the house falls into a pool of availability for homeless families.

    The application process is simple: 2 or more people at least one of whom is an adult ask to occupy the house free of monetary charges. Through their own income or church donated funds, the utilities will be turned on. The family will then take on the refurbishment of the house in return for living there. The bank will replace any missing appliances (washer-dryer, stove, refrigerator) and any broken window panes. The bank will pay for all materials required for the refurbishment (drywall, paint, etc). Community groups (non profits) will step up and help with the learning curve. The family will have a time line for the job set up and approved by the non-profit. I am thinking Habitat for Humanity. The job will extend over 12 calendar months. At the end of that time, the family can option to lease back the house at section 8 rates or move on to another project.

    If the family moves on, the house goes back on the market, this time under a special bidding program, available only to home buyers who do not already own a home. There will be no more than a 30 day delay between move out and market offer. This can be a variable offering program featuring rent-to-own options, down payment options, etc. No more than 5% down, and a history showing 90% on time bill payment for 12 prior months will be qualifying.

    It annoys the crap out of me that this situation exists, and there is no actual plan in the works to truly address it.

  20. @Gail,
    From the Press Release 3rd Quarterly 2011: See table 3

    The unadjusted homeownership rates have now fallen 3.1% since 2004, Homeownership rates fell 4% during the Great Depression. (Table 4)

    Quote:
    Approximately 85.8 percent of the housing units in the United States in the third quarter 2011 were occupied and 14.2 percent were vacant. Owner-occupied housing units made up 56.9 percent of total housing units, while renter-occupied units made up 28.9 percent of the inventory in the third quarter 2011. Vacant year-round units comprised 10.9 percent of total housing units, while 3.3 percent were for seasonal use. Approximately 3.2 percent of the total units were for rent, 1.4 percent were for sale only, and 0.9 percent were rented or sold but not yet occupied. Vacant units that were held off market comprised 5.4 percent of the total housing stock. Of these units, 1.8 percent were for occasional use, 0.7 percent were temporarily occupied by persons with usual residence elsewhere (URE), and 2.9 percent were vacant for a variety of other reasons.

    End Quote:

    Here are the homes that are not seasonal/vacation, not for sale, not for rent etc.

    Held off Market: Other = 3,839,000
    http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/hvs.ht

  21. @Gail,
    From the Press Release 3rd Quarterly 2011: See table 3

    The unadjusted homeownership rates have now fallen 3.1% since 2004, Homeownership rates fell 4% during the Great Depression. (Table 4)

    Quote:
    Approximately 85.8 percent of the housing units in the United States in the third quarter 2011 were occupied and 14.2 percent were vacant. Owner-occupied housing units made up 56.9 percent of total housing units, while renter-occupied units made up 28.9 percent of the inventory in the third quarter 2011. Vacant year-round units comprised 10.9 percent of total housing units, while 3.3 percent were for seasonal use. Approximately 3.2 percent of the total units were for rent, 1.4 percent were for sale only, and 0.9 percent were rented or sold but not yet occupied. Vacant units that were held off market comprised 5.4 percent of the total housing stock. Of these units, 1.8 percent were for occasional use, 0.7 percent were temporarily occupied by persons with usual residence elsewhere (URE), and 2.9 percent were vacant for a variety of other reasons.

    End Quote:

    Here are the homes that are not seasonal/vacation, not for sale, not for rent etc.

    Held off Market: Other = 3,839,000
    http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/hvs.ht

  22. @Gail,
    From the Press Release 3rd Quarterly 2011: See table 3

    The unadjusted homeownership rates have now fallen 3.1% since 2004, Homeownership rates fell 4% during the Great Depression. (Table 4)

    Quote:
    Approximately 85.8 percent of the housing units in the United States in the third quarter 2011 were occupied and 14.2 percent were vacant. Owner-occupied housing units made up 56.9 percent of total housing units, while renter-occupied units made up 28.9 percent of the inventory in the third quarter 2011. Vacant year-round units comprised 10.9 percent of total housing units, while 3.3 percent were for seasonal use. Approximately 3.2 percent of the total units were for rent, 1.4 percent were for sale only, and 0.9 percent were rented or sold but not yet occupied. Vacant units that were held off market comprised 5.4 percent of the total housing stock. Of these units, 1.8 percent were for occasional use, 0.7 percent were temporarily occupied by persons with usual residence elsewhere (URE), and 2.9 percent were vacant for a variety of other reasons.

    End Quote:

    Here are the homes that are not seasonal/vacation, not for sale, not for rent etc.

    Held off Market: Other = 3,839,000
    http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/hvs.ht

  23. At the very least every one who lost their home do to foreclosure should have their home or one equal too given to them. WE bailed the banks out of bad notes" s We have paid for them… I say instead of the Bank being Paid twice for the same house, give it to who it belongs to! I don't have a foreclosed home if I did I would OCCUPY it! Even if the #'s in this article are totally off.. matters not. WE the people paid off every mortgage in the country YET the Banks still hold titles… WE need to change this! 2012 We are not going anywhere! Occupy!

  24. there are several people here who are facing foreclosure, for that I am sorry. After working several years with the mortgage industry (not in it!!) I have found one group that will try to help with your foreclosure. As a disclaimer, I am not endorsing, nor am I an any way affiliated with them but http://www.naca.com is a non-profit program that will try to help with reworking the proposed foreclosure.

    Good luck to you all and I can only hope for a revolutionary new year!

  25. “The US Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau estimated 19 million vacant homes in the first quarter of 2010.”

    Do you have a link to that?

  26. The reality is we can learn how to live more simply – and for a few of us this might mean moving – and the banks can be much, much more cooperative! Simply by extending loans to 35 or 40 years they could keep people in their houses (and make more money for themselves.) Or modifications could be more liberally given out. Foreclosures help no one.

  27. If perchance the figures in this story are correct, there are way more vacant homes than homeless. Banks are not putting the foreclosed homes on the market, but instead leaving them to become weed and rat infested, and oft times occupied by the unfortunate, without benefit of utilities.

    There are the homeless who for whatever reason prefer the open air, and then there are the rest – entire families living in cars, for example.

    My proposal: If a house is bank owned and has been unoccupied for at least six months, the bank must put the house on the market at current market value. If the house does not sell within 60 days, the house falls into a pool of availability for homeless families.

    The application process is simple: 2 or more people at least one of whom is an adult ask to occupy the house free of monetary charges. Through their own income or church donated funds, the utilities will be turned on. The family will then take on the refurbishment of the house in return for living there. The bank will replace any missing appliances (washer-dryer, stove, refrigerator) and any broken window panes. The bank will pay for all materials required for the refurbishment (drywall, paint, etc). Community groups (non profits) will step up and help with the learning curve. The family will have a time line for the job set up and approved by the non-profit. I am thinking Habitat for Humanity. The job will extend over 12 calendar months. At the end of that time, the family can option to lease back the house at section 8 rates or move on to another project.

    If the family moves on, the house goes back on the market, this time under a special bidding program, available only to home buyers who do not already own a home. There will be no more than a 30 day delay between move out and market offer. This can be a variable offering program featuring rent-to-own options, down payment options, etc. No more than 5% down, and a history showing 90% on time bill payment for 12 prior months will be qualifying.

    It annoys the crap out of me that this situation exists, and there is no actual plan in the works to truly address it.

  28. @Gail,
    From the Press Release 3rd Quarterly 2011: See table 3

    The unadjusted homeownership rates have now fallen 3.1% since 2004, Homeownership rates fell 4% during the Great Depression. (Table 4)

    Quote:
    Approximately 85.8 percent of the housing units in the United States in the third quarter 2011 were occupied and 14.2 percent were vacant. Owner-occupied housing units made up 56.9 percent of total housing units, while renter-occupied units made up 28.9 percent of the inventory in the third quarter 2011. Vacant year-round units comprised 10.9 percent of total housing units, while 3.3 percent were for seasonal use. Approximately 3.2 percent of the total units were for rent, 1.4 percent were for sale only, and 0.9 percent were rented or sold but not yet occupied. Vacant units that were held off market comprised 5.4 percent of the total housing stock. Of these units, 1.8 percent were for occasional use, 0.7 percent were temporarily occupied by persons with usual residence elsewhere (URE), and 2.9 percent were vacant for a variety of other reasons.

    End Quote:

    Here are the homes that are not seasonal/vacation, not for sale, not for rent etc.

    Held off Market: Other = 3,839,000

    http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/hvs.html

  29. At the very least every one who lost their home do to foreclosure should have their home or one equal too given to them. WE bailed the banks out of bad notes” s We have paid for them… I say instead of the Bank being Paid twice for the same house, give it to who it belongs to! I don’t have a foreclosed home if I did I would OCCUPY it! Even if the #’s in this article are totally off.. matters not. WE the people paid off every mortgage in the country YET the Banks still hold titles… WE need to change this! 2012 We are not going anywhere! Occupy!

  30. Wow.

    This article, along with the comments I read here, convince me that we are becoming an "entitlement" society. How pathetic.

    Do you folks really believe that you "deserve" a house just because you want one? It doesn't matter if you don't have a job, have medical bills, have 9 kids, or can't grasp simple economics…. no person or business should be forced to GIVE you a house if you can't pay for it!! Fair or not, it's that simple. Our government already has to borrow from China to pay your Section 8 (free rent to you), it certainly can't afford to GIVE out houses!! Grow up!!!

  31. The reality is we can learn how to live more simply – and for a few of us this might mean moving – and the banks can be much, much more cooperative! Simply by extending loans to 35 or 40 years they could keep people in their houses (and make more money for themselves.) Or modifications could be more liberally given out. Foreclosures help no one.

  32. Good points, Tango. I presume you would want them to apply to those businesses as well.

    So… do banks really believe that they "deserve" a bailout because they want one? It doesn't matter if they don't have enough assets, have made bad investments, have overpaid CEOs, or can't resist giving themselves huge bonuses… no taxpayer or government agency should be forced to GIVE them a bailout if they can't pay it back!! Fair or not, it's that simple. Our government already has to borrow from China to pay for their Corporate Welfare (free tax breaks for them), it certainly can't afford to GIVE out assets!! Grow up, bankers!!!

  33. Wow.

    This article, along with the comments I read here, convince me that we are becoming an “entitlement” society. How pathetic.

    Do you folks really believe that you “deserve” a house just because you want one? It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a job, have medical bills, have 9 kids, or can’t grasp simple economics…. no person or business should be forced to GIVE you a house if you can’t pay for it!! Fair or not, it’s that simple. Our government already has to borrow from China to pay your Section 8 (free rent to you), it certainly can’t afford to GIVE out houses!! Grow up!!!

  34. Good points, Tango. I presume you would want them to apply to those businesses as well.

    So… do banks really believe that they “deserve” a bailout because they want one? It doesn’t matter if they don’t have enough assets, have made bad investments, have overpaid CEOs, or can’t resist giving themselves huge bonuses… no taxpayer or government agency should be forced to GIVE them a bailout if they can’t pay it back!! Fair or not, it’s that simple. Our government already has to borrow from China to pay for their Corporate Welfare (free tax breaks for them), it certainly can’t afford to GIVE out assets!! Grow up, bankers!!!

  35. Amen Tango. Individual responsibility is something so many have a difficult time coming to terms with. That goes for banks, auto industry, unions and career welfare Moms and welfare Dads. The cradle to grave entitlement mentality is destroying this Nation. European socialism didnt work and it's certainly not going to work here. Go occupy a job!

  36. Doctor B – You are correct; I totally agree with you.

    I think bankers and other big business cronies take unfair advantage of out system. I believe we have an inherently corrupt system and the bottom line is we (as a country) are taking advantage of future generations (our children and grandchildren) by borrowing money from China and others that we KNOW can't be paid back in our lifetime.

    You want to talk about amnesty??…what about instead of making our future generations PRISONERS TO DEBT we do the right thing and quit giving money to EVERYONE that thinks they are entitled to it (from foreclosed ex-homeowners to big bank CEOs)!!

    Doing the right thing isn't always easy, but it's still the right thing to do!

  37. "advantage of out system" — oops, that should be
    "advantage of our system"

    Brian – "Go occupy a job" — LOL, I love it!!

  38. Tango,

    Actually, the Tarp money has gone to the banks so that they can keep these houses off of the (for sale and for rent) market, which amounts to a subsidy for homeowners who have been able to hang on through the decline of employment levels of 7 million (BLS-CPS) and displacement of another 4 million, from jobs that changed hands to new immigrants (Census – CPS).

    (Click the Website link under weaver for a graph of the employment situation for the lost decade.)

    Then to make matters worse, homeowners insist upon tearing down vacant homes to preserving their property's valuation. This is a collosal waste of resources and if we could rent these homes instead, reducing the rental expense for 30 some million renters by $200.00 per month, 72 Billion Dollars of discresionary earnings would be injected into the economy per year.

    Additionally, in many cases the banks cannot provide the documentation to foreclose on these properties, but many State Courts simply take the banks "word" that they have the documents "somewhere". I believe that it was 60 minutes that reported that some banks are foreclosing/evicting owners and then refusing to transfer title to avoid demolotion costs.

    Aditionally, I'm surprized that performing homeowners are not currently suing the banks to prove that they can provide a clear title. If they can't prove clear title, I'd suspect that the courts would begin to entertain Adverse Possion cases against these banks to avoid the costs of having to tear down more houses.

    So Tango, there must be a more productive solution to this problem than blaming and demonizing the victims.

  39. Weaver,

    I am no expert on TARP or foreclosure methodologies of banks, however that is completely outside the scope of the point I was making.

    Again, I believe that:
    1. For a U.S. citizen to believe they have a "right" to OWN a house is both ignorant (in terms of how the real world actually operates) and selfish (wanting something free now at the expense of future generations).
    2. For our government to offer "free" money to banks and other "too big to fail" businesses…money that has to be borrowed and added to our 14 TRILLION dollar debt….is corrupt and takes advantage of future generations who obviously have no way of defending themselves.

    So, the "victims" here are the future Americans who will inherit a bankrupt America, and I (contrary to your implication) in NO way blame or "demonize" them.

    Tango

  40. Amen Tango. Individual responsibility is something so many have a difficult time coming to terms with. That goes for banks, auto industry, unions and career welfare Moms and welfare Dads. The cradle to grave entitlement mentality is destroying this Nation. European socialism didnt work and it’s certainly not going to work here. Go occupy a job!

  41. Hmm. @Tango. Are you one of the lost children of "No child left behind" policy? Reading comprehension is an essential skill. No one has suggested giving deeds to homes to anyone. So the home ownership comment is way off base. And "career welfare moms and dads"?? Give me a break! There is not, nor has there ever been, a significantly measurable population in the USA that takes public benefits as a way of life. It has not been possible for many decades to receive increased cash benefits as a single parent receiving public assistance. Welfare reform and reauthorization in 1996 made it impossible for anyone to receive more than 60 months benefit in a lifetime. Five years is no career!
    And as to "European socialism" not working, being dead or any other ridiculous assertion, you are very, very wrong. In my country of residence, we have nationalized/socialized healthcare; and that is not synonymous with waiting lists as there is no such thing. Public housing here is a right, not a denigration of one's character, (unlike in America where public housing is called 'projects' and the residents are treated as though they are second-class citizens.) i think you are confused, like so many other people, about what socialism actually is. i do not think it is the way forward..we must go beyond socialism to build communities where our well-being is linked to the well-being of those around us. In this future, derisive, prejudicial rhetoric has no place.

    Are you somehow misinformed about the poor in your own country? Did you not know that those making between 9-15k a year in low wage positions pay more in payroll taxes than the richest citizens there? Or did you think that federal taxes in the form of income tax are the only taxes paid? While you are thinking about that, think about this: at 7.50 an hour in wages, a 10 dollar purchase carries a sales tax average of 14% of their hourly income!
    So..when you get all up in arms about the poor, think about the amount of their base income they contribute to local, county, and state infrastructure. The poor pay property tax as well..whether they rent or own. Property tax is part of the monthly price of renting. Or didn't you know that?

    Yes..i am in Europe. But i am a citizen of the United States. And damn tired of having to redirect this kind of ignorance.

  42. Just to clarify my assertion in regard to public benefits: an individual has never been able to increase their cash benefits by having more children. This was a falsehood perpetuated by the Reagan administration to demonize the poor and justify austerity measures in social programs that served the poor. This served a multitude of purposes. It freed up tax monies to be spent elsewhere, created deep divisions in the populace, (a united population can be very 'dangerous') and created the credit-based consumerist culture that was more interested in keeping up with the Joneses than with the well-being of the community. This is part of what destroyed the economy..and i think, is destroying our very humanity. It isn't entitlement that is the problem. It is our failure to define human rights correctly. Food, water and shelter are basic human rights.

  43. Doctor B – You are correct; I totally agree with you.

    I think bankers and other big business cronies take unfair advantage of out system. I believe we have an inherently corrupt system and the bottom line is we (as a country) are taking advantage of future generations (our children and grandchildren) by borrowing money from China and others that we KNOW can’t be paid back in our lifetime.

    You want to talk about amnesty??…what about instead of making our future generations PRISONERS TO DEBT we do the right thing and quit giving money to EVERYONE that thinks they are entitled to it (from foreclosed ex-homeowners to big bank CEOs)!!

    Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but it’s still the right thing to do!

  44. “advantage of out system” — oops, that should be
    “advantage of our system”

    Brian – “Go occupy a job” — LOL, I love it!!

  45. It is particularly ironic that Nancy Pelosi is on her annual Hawaiian Christmas vacation staying at a resort which charges 10,000 per night. (Hard to believe, I know). Possibly she could offer her home to the homeless over the holidays, since it too is unoccupied.

  46. Tango,

    Actually, the Tarp money has gone to the banks so that they can keep these houses off of the (for sale and for rent) market, which amounts to a subsidy for homeowners who have been able to hang on through the decline of employment levels of 7 million (BLS-CPS) and displacement of another 4 million, from jobs that changed hands to new immigrants (Census – CPS).

    (Click the Website link under weaver for a graph of the employment situation for the lost decade.)

    Then to make matters worse, homeowners insist upon tearing down vacant homes to preserving their property’s valuation. This is a collosal waste of resources and if we could rent these homes instead, reducing the rental expense for 30 some million renters by $200.00 per month, 72 Billion Dollars of discresionary earnings would be injected into the economy per year.

    Additionally, in many cases the banks cannot provide the documentation to foreclose on these properties, but many State Courts simply take the banks “word” that they have the documents “somewhere”. I believe that it was 60 minutes that reported that some banks are foreclosing/evicting owners and then refusing to transfer title to avoid demolotion costs.

    Aditionally, I’m surprized that performing homeowners are not currently suing the banks to prove that they can provide a clear title. If they can’t prove clear title, I’d suspect that the courts would begin to entertain Adverse Possion cases against these banks to avoid the costs of having to tear down more houses.

    So Tango, there must be a more productive solution to this problem than blaming and demonizing the victims.

  47. Weaver,

    I am no expert on TARP or foreclosure methodologies of banks, however that is completely outside the scope of the point I was making.

    Again, I believe that:
    1. For a U.S. citizen to believe they have a “right” to OWN a house is both ignorant (in terms of how the real world actually operates) and selfish (wanting something free now at the expense of future generations).
    2. For our government to offer “free” money to banks and other “too big to fail” businesses…money that has to be borrowed and added to our 14 TRILLION dollar debt….is corrupt and takes advantage of future generations who obviously have no way of defending themselves.

    So, the “victims” here are the future Americans who will inherit a bankrupt America, and I (contrary to your implication) in NO way blame or “demonize” them.

    Tango

  48. Hmm. @Tango. Are you one of the lost children of “No child left behind” policy? Reading comprehension is an essential skill. No one has suggested giving deeds to homes to anyone. So the home ownership comment is way off base. And “career welfare moms and dads”?? Give me a break! There is not, nor has there ever been, a significantly measurable population in the USA that takes public benefits as a way of life. It has not been possible for many decades to receive increased cash benefits as a single parent receiving public assistance. Welfare reform and reauthorization in 1996 made it impossible for anyone to receive more than 60 months benefit in a lifetime. Five years is no career!
    And as to “European socialism” not working, being dead or any other ridiculous assertion, you are very, very wrong. In my country of residence, we have nationalized/socialized healthcare; and that is not synonymous with waiting lists as there is no such thing. Public housing here is a right, not a denigration of one’s character, (unlike in America where public housing is called ‘projects’ and the residents are treated as though they are second-class citizens.) i think you are confused, like so many other people, about what socialism actually is. i do not think it is the way forward..we must go beyond socialism to build communities where our well-being is linked to the well-being of those around us. In this future, derisive, prejudicial rhetoric has no place.

    Are you somehow misinformed about the poor in your own country? Did you not know that those making between 9-15k a year in low wage positions pay more in payroll taxes than the richest citizens there? Or did you think that federal taxes in the form of income tax are the only taxes paid? While you are thinking about that, think about this: at 7.50 an hour in wages, a 10 dollar purchase carries a sales tax average of 14% of their hourly income!
    So..when you get all up in arms about the poor, think about the amount of their base income they contribute to local, county, and state infrastructure. The poor pay property tax as well..whether they rent or own. Property tax is part of the monthly price of renting. Or didn’t you know that?

    Yes..i am in Europe. But i am a citizen of the United States. And damn tired of having to redirect this kind of ignorance.

  49. Just to clarify my assertion in regard to public benefits: an individual has never been able to increase their cash benefits by having more children. This was a falsehood perpetuated by the Reagan administration to demonize the poor and justify austerity measures in social programs that served the poor. This served a multitude of purposes. It freed up tax monies to be spent elsewhere, created deep divisions in the populace, (a united population can be very ‘dangerous’) and created the credit-based consumerist culture that was more interested in keeping up with the Joneses than with the well-being of the community. This is part of what destroyed the economy..and i think, is destroying our very humanity. It isn’t entitlement that is the problem. It is our failure to define human rights correctly. Food, water and shelter are basic human rights.

  50. Hi Michelle,

    So you think the appropriate way to join a discussion is by immediately throwing insults and making accusations that in point of fact you are guilty of?

    Unfortunately for you, my reading comprehension skills are top notch and apparently in your haste to insult and denigrate others your own comprehension skills are lacking.

    You said:

    "Are you one of the lost children of “No child left behind” policy? Reading comprehension is an essential skill. No one has suggested giving deeds to homes to anyone. So the home ownership comment is way off base"

    Try rereading Diana's comment:

    "At the very least every one who lost their home do to foreclosure should have their home or one equal too given to them."

    and see if you can comprehend that she does indeed suggest that home deeds should be given away. In case you're incapable of understanding this concept, just know that giving a home to someone requires the deed being given as well.

    Your other rambling comments and false assertions are undeserving of any further consideration on my part. : )

    However, I do sincerely hope that you and everyone else that reads this has a Happy New Year and I hope that 2012 is better for everyone than 2011 was!!

    Regards and farewell,
    Tango

  51. Hi,

    I've never responded to anything on the internet, so I don't know why now?

    I don't recall anywhere in the Bill of Rights that housing is a right. If is, wouldn't it follow that our government would supply housing to people who can afford it otherwise? Like utilizing Army bases.

    I know many people get public assistance for housing. I my experience the only requirement is need. Why don't the 3.5 million others fail to qualify for this help?

    I don't think housing is a right.

  52. It is particularly ironic that Nancy Pelosi is on her annual Hawaiian Christmas vacation staying at a resort which charges 10,000 per night. (Hard to believe, I know). Possibly she could offer her home to the homeless over the holidays, since it too is unoccupied.

  53. It's important to remember that there are as many different stories as there are people, so there are various circumstances under which we all live. There are those who, for whatever reason, believe themselves to be exempt from responsibility- but there are also those who, for whatever reason, desperately need the support, understanding and compassion of those around them. I don't suppose there has ever been a human being on earth that has not at some point in their lives needed some kind of compassion and support. The point is, we are not all equal in circumstance or experience and therefore are in no position to judge one another. It would certainly be wrong for those in a position of strength to be critical of those who are weaker. Unless the playing field is level, let's zip our lip's.

  54. Hi Michelle,

    So you think the appropriate way to join a discussion is by immediately throwing insults and making accusations that in point of fact you are guilty of?

    Unfortunately for you, my reading comprehension skills are top notch and apparently in your haste to insult and denigrate others your own comprehension skills are lacking.

    You said:

    “Are you one of the lost children of “No child left behind” policy? Reading comprehension is an essential skill. No one has suggested giving deeds to homes to anyone. So the home ownership comment is way off base”

    Try rereading Diana’s comment:

    “At the very least every one who lost their home do to foreclosure should have their home or one equal too given to them.”

    and see if you can comprehend that she does indeed suggest that home deeds should be given away. In case you’re incapable of understanding this concept, just know that giving a home to someone requires the deed being given as well.

    Your other rambling comments and false assertions are undeserving of any further consideration on my part. : )

    However, I do sincerely hope that you and everyone else that reads this has a Happy New Year and I hope that 2012 is better for everyone than 2011 was!!

    Regards and farewell,
    Tango

  55. Hi,

    I’ve never responded to anything on the internet, so I don’t know why now?

    I don’t recall anywhere in the Bill of Rights that housing is a right. If is, wouldn’t it follow that our government would supply housing to people who can afford it otherwise? Like utilizing Army bases.

    I know many people get public assistance for housing. I my experience the only requirement is need. Why don’t the 3.5 million others fail to qualify for this help?

    I don’t think housing is a right.

  56. Michelle- you are so smart so tell me why the euro is dangerously close to being absolutely worthless? I dare you to tell me it has Nothing to do with exploding entitlements and negative Govt interference. The housing crisis here for example started because of Govt intrusion and not the lack of. The American dream used to be something people worked hard for and earned. It didnt use to be something subsidized or giben away by daddy Govt and at someone elses expense.

  57. Gail has a well-considered idea, and I agree that it is frustrating that such common-sense solutions are not being provided. Obama cannot do it all by himself. Rememer the Congress? People in there that are beholden to big donors, and have vowed to get rid of Obama by any means necessary? They don't really care if they wreck millions of lives, just so long as they get re-elected.
    That kind of recklessness is what makes people like some of these responednts call for a revolution. It's really bad, but, we don't want the horrors of a Syria visited on us here.

  58. Brian, Since the US government works primarily under the direction of the corporate world, their motive in promoting home ownership via sub prime mortgages could not be considered as being motivated by altruism. My understanding of the situation is that Wall Street companies packaged risky/worthless mortgages into investment vehicles which they consequently sold and then bet against, which action gave them extraordinary profits. To sustain these profits they created a relentless demand for mortgages which in turn enriched the mortgage providers. There can be no other explanation for trained financial professionals to promote such disastrous financial arrangements, which they must have known would fail, other than that they stood to profit from selling them on. There can be no explanation for the government encouraging such actions other than obeying it's masters on Wall Street.
    Sadly, those who hold all the power can rely on the citizens of the USA to be keep busy being mean-spirited to those who have been victimized rather than seek the truth and take to the streets demanding justice.

  59. It’s important to remember that there are as many different stories as there are people, so there are various circumstances under which we all live. There are those who, for whatever reason, believe themselves to be exempt from responsibility- but there are also those who, for whatever reason, desperately need the support, understanding and compassion of those around them. I don’t suppose there has ever been a human being on earth that has not at some point in their lives needed some kind of compassion and support. The point is, we are not all equal in circumstance or experience and therefore are in no position to judge one another. It would certainly be wrong for those in a position of strength to be critical of those who are weaker. Unless the playing field is level, let’s zip our lip’s.

  60. Michelle- you are so smart so tell me why the euro is dangerously close to being absolutely worthless? I dare you to tell me it has Nothing to do with exploding entitlements and negative Govt interference. The housing crisis here for example started because of Govt intrusion and not the lack of. The American dream used to be something people worked hard for and earned. It didnt use to be something subsidized or giben away by daddy Govt and at someone elses expense.

  61. Gail has a well-considered idea, and I agree that it is frustrating that such common-sense solutions are not being provided. Obama cannot do it all by himself. Rememer the Congress? People in there that are beholden to big donors, and have vowed to get rid of Obama by any means necessary? They don’t really care if they wreck millions of lives, just so long as they get re-elected.
    That kind of recklessness is what makes people like some of these responednts call for a revolution. It’s really bad, but, we don’t want the horrors of a Syria visited on us here.

  62. Brian, Since the US government works primarily under the direction of the corporate world, their motive in promoting home ownership via sub prime mortgages could not be considered as being motivated by altruism. My understanding of the situation is that Wall Street companies packaged risky/worthless mortgages into investment vehicles which they consequently sold and then bet against, which action gave them extraordinary profits. To sustain these profits they created a relentless demand for mortgages which in turn enriched the mortgage providers. There can be no other explanation for trained financial professionals to promote such disastrous financial arrangements, which they must have known would fail, other than that they stood to profit from selling them on. There can be no explanation for the government encouraging such actions other than obeying it’s masters on Wall Street.
    Sadly, those who hold all the power can rely on the citizens of the USA to be keep busy being mean-spirited to those who have been victimized rather than seek the truth and take to the streets demanding justice.

  63. Pauline- 4 words – "Fannie Mae" "Freddie Mac". I dont know how old you are – but i'm 39. When my parents bought there first Home they needed to scrape, save, establish credit FIRST. A bit chunk had to be put down and i think they even had to borrow money from my grandparents. Banks didnt make money making risky loans. It was hard – but banks knew what they were doing and foreclosures were far and few between. Then Came the fed Govt, legislation, aclu, other ngos and community organizers.

  64. Pauline- 4 words – “Fannie Mae” “Freddie Mac”. I dont know how old you are – but i’m 39. When my parents bought there first Home they needed to scrape, save, establish credit FIRST. A bit chunk had to be put down and i think they even had to borrow money from my grandparents. Banks didnt make money making risky loans. It was hard – but banks knew what they were doing and foreclosures were far and few between. Then Came the fed Govt, legislation, aclu, other ngos and community organizers.

  65. The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not recognize housing as a human right. It is one of the basic five human needs, shelter, in that we have a responsibility to assist those in need. As long as this country embodies a minimum wage as opposed to a living wage, health care that is not universal, and allows its citizens to go hungry and homeless we must fight. Not inform, not advocate, but fight for the rights of those with the least.

  66. The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not recognize housing as a human right. It is one of the basic five human needs, shelter, in that we have a responsibility to assist those in need. As long as this country embodies a minimum wage as opposed to a living wage, health care that is not universal, and allows its citizens to go hungry and homeless we must fight. Not inform, not advocate, but fight for the rights of those with the least.

  67. Barbara- there is a lot of difference between shelter and being allowed to occupy a Home you can't afford. There are well over 3000 homeless shelters in the US. That doesnt count churches, charities, family, friends, dozens of assistance programs and many who face foreclosure need simply to downgrade and/or rent a smaller cheaper place. Home ownership is not a human right.

  68. @Brian,

    "Housing" and "home ownership" are two distinctly different terms.

    The article didn't say that "home ownership is a human right" I don't see the term "home ownership" in Barbra's post either.

  69. With 3,839,000 Vacant: Held off Market: Other — And millions of other homes vacant for various reasons, maybe it's time we get rid of the second home mortgage interest deduction subsidy and encourage that these units be returned to the "For rent" inventory.

  70. This citation (approximately 3.5 million people in the U.S. are homeless, many of them veterans. It is worth noting that, at the same time, there are 18.5 million vacant homes in the country) needs a reference. It's being blown around all over by bloggers. Without a reference, however, it's just hot air. Can the author of this blog provide an accurate citation that can be independently verified? That would make this have punch, not gas.

  71. Barbara- there is a lot of difference between shelter and being allowed to occupy a Home you can’t afford. There are well over 3000 homeless shelters in the US. That doesnt count churches, charities, family, friends, dozens of assistance programs and many who face foreclosure need simply to downgrade and/or rent a smaller cheaper place. Home ownership is not a human right.

  72. @heelspur

    The vacant housing units are from Census. http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/hvs.ht

    ***********************************
    (From WikiPedia)
    2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress

    Perhaps the most accurate, comprehensive, and current data on homelessness in the United States is reported annually by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR), released in June of every year since 2007. The AHAR report relies on data from two sources: single-night, point-in-time counts of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations reported on the Continuum of Care applications to HUD; and counts of the sheltered homeless population over a full year provided by a sample of communities based on data in their local Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS).[15]

    [edit] Other statisticsSome estimates from various sources on the characteristics and number of homeless people:

    Total Number

    As many as 3.5 million people experience homelessness in a given year (1% of the entire U.S. population or 10% of its poor), and about 842,000 people in any given week.[17][18]

    Most were homeless temporarily.

    The chronically homeless population (those with repeated episodes or who have been homeless for long periods) fell from 175,914 in 2005 to 123,833 in 2007.[6]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness_in_the_

    ***********************************

    Census Report:

    More Young Adults are Living in Their Parents' Home, Census Bureau Reports

    Between 2005 and 2011, the proportion of young adults living in their parents' home increased, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The percentage of men age 25 to 34 living in the home of their parents rose from 14 percent in 2005 to 19 percent in 2011 and from 8 percent to 10 percent over the period for women.
    http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/
    ***********************************
    Referencing the above statement:

    The BLS Civilian Population shows that 5% of men aged 25 to 34 is currently 1,042,200

    And 2% of the BLS Civilian Population for 2% of women in the age group is 415,020

    In addition to these 1.5 million, there are tons of people living in less than healthy housing arrangements,

  73. @heelspur

    The vacant housing units are from Census. http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/hvs.ht

    ***********************************
    (From WikiPedia)
    2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress

    Perhaps the most accurate, comprehensive, and current data on homelessness in the United States is reported annually by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR), released in June of every year since 2007. The AHAR report relies on data from two sources: single-night, point-in-time counts of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations reported on the Continuum of Care applications to HUD; and counts of the sheltered homeless population over a full year provided by a sample of communities based on data in their local Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS).[15]

    [edit] Other statisticsSome estimates from various sources on the characteristics and number of homeless people:

    Total Number

    As many as 3.5 million people experience homelessness in a given year (1% of the entire U.S. population or 10% of its poor), and about 842,000 people in any given week.[17][18]

    Most were homeless temporarily.

    The chronically homeless population (those with repeated episodes or who have been homeless for long periods) fell from 175,914 in 2005 to 123,833 in 2007.[6]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness_in_the_

    ***********************************

    Census Report:

    More Young Adults are Living in Their Parents' Home, Census Bureau Reports

    Between 2005 and 2011, the proportion of young adults living in their parents' home increased, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The percentage of men age 25 to 34 living in the home of their parents rose from 14 percent in 2005 to 19 percent in 2011 and from 8 percent to 10 percent over the period for women.
    http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/
    ***********************************
    Referencing the above statement:

    The BLS Civilian Population shows that 5% of men aged 25 to 34 is currently 1,042,200

    And 2% of the BLS Civilian Population for 2% of women in the age group is 415,020

    In addition to these 1.5 million, there are tons of people living in less than healthy housing arrangements,

  74. @heelspur

    The vacant housing units are from Census. http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/hvs.ht

    ***********************************
    (From WikiPedia)
    2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress

    Perhaps the most accurate, comprehensive, and current data on homelessness in the United States is reported annually by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR), released in June of every year since 2007. The AHAR report relies on data from two sources: single-night, point-in-time counts of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations reported on the Continuum of Care applications to HUD; and counts of the sheltered homeless population over a full year provided by a sample of communities based on data in their local Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS).[15]

    [edit] Other statisticsSome estimates from various sources on the characteristics and number of homeless people:

    Total Number

    As many as 3.5 million people experience homelessness in a given year (1% of the entire U.S. population or 10% of its poor), and about 842,000 people in any given week.[17][18]

    Most were homeless temporarily.

    The chronically homeless population (those with repeated episodes or who have been homeless for long periods) fell from 175,914 in 2005 to 123,833 in 2007.[6]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness_in_the_

    ***********************************

    Census Report:

    More Young Adults are Living in Their Parents' Home, Census Bureau Reports

    Between 2005 and 2011, the proportion of young adults living in their parents' home increased, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The percentage of men age 25 to 34 living in the home of their parents rose from 14 percent in 2005 to 19 percent in 2011 and from 8 percent to 10 percent over the period for women.
    http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/
    ***********************************
    Referencing the above statement:

    The BLS Civilian Population shows that 5% of men aged 25 to 34 is currently 1,042,200

    And 2% of the BLS Civilian Population for 2% of women in the age group is 415,020

    In addition to these 1.5 million, there are tons of people living in less than healthy housing arrangements,

  75. @Brian,

    “Housing” and “home ownership” are two distinctly different terms.

    The article didn’t say that “home ownership is a human right” I don’t see the term “home ownership” in Barbra’s post either.

  76. With 3,839,000 Vacant: Held off Market: Other — And millions of other homes vacant for various reasons, maybe it’s time we get rid of the second home mortgage interest deduction subsidy and encourage that these units be returned to the “For rent” inventory.

  77. This citation (approximately 3.5 million people in the U.S. are homeless, many of them veterans. It is worth noting that, at the same time, there are 18.5 million vacant homes in the country) needs a reference. It’s being blown around all over by bloggers. Without a reference, however, it’s just hot air. Can the author of this blog provide an accurate citation that can be independently verified? That would make this have punch, not gas.

  78. Weaver- thank you yes i know the difference with Home ownership. The article and many posters keep going back to foreclosures and suggesting somehow this is a human right violation. Being removed from property you dont own and can't afford to pay for is not a violation of your rights.

  79. @heelspur

    The vacant housing units are from Census.
    http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/hvs.html

    ***********************************
    (From WikiPedia)
    2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress

    Perhaps the most accurate, comprehensive, and current data on homelessness in the United States is reported annually by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR), released in June of every year since 2007. The AHAR report relies on data from two sources: single-night, point-in-time counts of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations reported on the Continuum of Care applications to HUD; and counts of the sheltered homeless population over a full year provided by a sample of communities based on data in their local Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS).[15]

    [edit] Other statisticsSome estimates from various sources on the characteristics and number of homeless people:

    Total Number

    As many as 3.5 million people experience homelessness in a given year (1% of the entire U.S. population or 10% of its poor), and about 842,000 people in any given week.[17][18]

    Most were homeless temporarily.

    The chronically homeless population (those with repeated episodes or who have been homeless for long periods) fell from 175,914 in 2005 to 123,833 in 2007.[6]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness_in_the_United_States#2009_Annual_Homeless_Assessment_Report_to_Congress

    ***********************************

    Census Report:

    More Young Adults are Living in Their Parents’ Home, Census Bureau Reports

    Between 2005 and 2011, the proportion of young adults living in their parents’ home increased, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The percentage of men age 25 to 34 living in the home of their parents rose from 14 percent in 2005 to 19 percent in 2011 and from 8 percent to 10 percent over the period for women.

    http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/families_households/cb11-183.html
    ***********************************
    Referencing the above statement:

    The BLS Civilian Population shows that 5% of men aged 25 to 34 is currently 1,042,200

    And 2% of the BLS Civilian Population for 2% of women in the age group is 415,020

    In addition to these 1.5 million, there are tons of people living in less than healthy housing arrangements,

  80. Weaver- thank you yes i know the difference with Home ownership. The article and many posters keep going back to foreclosures and suggesting somehow this is a human right violation. Being removed from property you dont own and can’t afford to pay for is not a violation of your rights.

  81. Lack of housing or not providing housing is not a human rights violation, however in a country where houses are vacant and/or torn down, when so many of our fellow man are homeless, shows the lack of respect/caring for one another. A government that feins compassion, while lining its pockets and those of their cronies, at the expense of the people, shows the flaws in our system. While I do believe the USA is still the ideal model to follow ( elected govt and capitalism), the system is breaking down and the elite are cashing in. (literally) by stealing from the people. The housing crisis/financial crisis and the plight of many of the foreclosed were brought on by failed Govt policy that allowed for an even greater money grab by the same Govt. ( who can blame a person/family for wanting a home and being approved for a loan to secure the same.) Where are the protests for the executives of Fanny/ Freddie who are granted million dollar severance for failure and the new million dollar appointment of hand picked successors. Jobs that would allow people ( Middle class) to afford homes have been shipped overseas and the people are being driven to modern day serfdom. Both sides of Govt. are to blame for the mess we are in and only the people will change it. The solution unfortunatley is not out there in the form of Obama (clearly unqualified) or any of the Repub. career politicians. ( occupy is a good start, although unorganized and without clear goals.)

  82. Lack of housing or not providing housing is not a human rights violation, however in a country where houses are vacant and/or torn down, when so many of our fellow man are homeless, shows the lack of respect/caring for one another. A government that feins compassion, while lining its pockets and those of their cronies, at the expense of the people, shows the flaws in our system. While I do believe the USA is still the ideal model to follow ( elected govt and capitalism), the system is breaking down and the elite are cashing in. (literally) by stealing from the people. The housing crisis/financial crisis and the plight of many of the foreclosed were brought on by failed Govt policy that allowed for an even greater money grab by the same Govt. ( who can blame a person/family for wanting a home and being approved for a loan to secure the same.) Where are the protests for the executives of Fanny/ Freddie who are granted million dollar severance for failure and the new million dollar appointment of hand picked successors. Jobs that would allow people ( Middle class) to afford homes have been shipped overseas and the people are being driven to modern day serfdom. Both sides of Govt. are to blame for the mess we are in and only the people will change it. The solution unfortunatley is not out there in the form of Obama (clearly unqualified) or any of the Repub. career politicians. ( occupy is a good start, although unorganized and without clear goals.)

  83. I would just like a bit of land, please. With that small concession, i can Manifest Destiny

  84. I would just like a bit of land, please. With that small concession, i can Manifest Destiny

  85. I can hardly stand to read some of the comments. Because some folks are able to make ends meet does not mean that everyone can……Where is compassion? It makes me shudder……There is obviously something wrong with our system – those statistics are scary and sad. That folks throwing out remarks against others who are unemployed shows the lack of understanding of our systemic issues. There aren't enough jobs – not even minimum wage jobs. This is completely unsustainable….and sad…..and the dialog is not helpful and a sign of the unhealthy thinking and repartee that has become pervasive in our culture. Give it a rest – start caring – stop criticizing people who aren't like you – who are suffering. It is real suffering….

  86. I can hardly stand to read some of the comments. Because some folks are able to make ends meet does not mean that everyone can……Where is compassion? It makes me shudder……There is obviously something wrong with our system – those statistics are scary and sad. That folks throwing out remarks against others who are unemployed shows the lack of understanding of our systemic issues. There aren’t enough jobs – not even minimum wage jobs. This is completely unsustainable….and sad…..and the dialog is not helpful and a sign of the unhealthy thinking and repartee that has become pervasive in our culture. Give it a rest – start caring – stop criticizing people who aren’t like you – who are suffering. It is real suffering….

  87. Tango,

    Your statements come from your heart I am sure; but what runs through your veins must be sand. Anyone who can justify, condone what the banks have done in foreclosing on millions of hard working people who BAILED them OUT, is amazing to me. Free houses to the families being foreclosed on is the LEAST the banks and this Gov't SHOULD DO for the CRIMES that have been committed and PROVEN such as Fraud, Lying, Forging, STealling, Lying to investors, to home owners BEFORE they signed those PREDATORY loans; give me a break TANGO. Your arrogance is only surpassed by your callousness. May you never have to be at the mercy in illness or death with those you claim are basically freeloaders; they may have to offer you a glass of water or save you from the war which is about to ensue in our streets due to homelessness, joblessness, etc.

    But, let me digress. WHO CAUSED THIS MORTGAGE, AND ECONOMIC CRISIS WHICH BASICALLY DESTROYED JOBS WHICH CAUSED FORECLOSURES TO EXPONENTIALLY EXPLODE? Yes, you go to the head of the class! The same CROOKS REAPING THE BENEFITS OF THEIR CRIME! Happy New Year, may you reap your rewards according to your deeds.

  88. Tango,

    Your statements come from your heart I am sure; but what runs through your veins must be sand. Anyone who can justify, condone what the banks have done in foreclosing on millions of hard working people who BAILED them OUT, is amazing to me. Free houses to the families being foreclosed on is the LEAST the banks and this Gov’t SHOULD DO for the CRIMES that have been committed and PROVEN such as Fraud, Lying, Forging, STealling, Lying to investors, to home owners BEFORE they signed those PREDATORY loans; give me a break TANGO. Your arrogance is only surpassed by your callousness. May you never have to be at the mercy in illness or death with those you claim are basically freeloaders; they may have to offer you a glass of water or save you from the war which is about to ensue in our streets due to homelessness, joblessness, etc.

    But, let me digress. WHO CAUSED THIS MORTGAGE, AND ECONOMIC CRISIS WHICH BASICALLY DESTROYED JOBS WHICH CAUSED FORECLOSURES TO EXPONENTIALLY EXPLODE? Yes, you go to the head of the class! The same CROOKS REAPING THE BENEFITS OF THEIR CRIME! Happy New Year, may you reap your rewards according to your deeds.

  89. Housing is indeed a human right. It derives from Art. 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and several subsequent treaties. There should be creditor remedies available that do not entail carrying out a human rights violation. Access to adequate housing is, again, a human right. It should not be a commodity.

  90. Bret,

    Nice point, thank you for the reference and enlightenment. Intresting that, in light of your point, the U.N itself, as well as, most Goverments are indeed guilty of human rights abuse. Not surprising though.

  91. Housing is indeed a human right. It derives from Art. 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and several subsequent treaties. There should be creditor remedies available that do not entail carrying out a human rights violation. Access to adequate housing is, again, a human right. It should not be a commodity.

  92. Bret,

    Nice point, thank you for the reference and enlightenment. Intresting that, in light of your point, the U.N itself, as well as, most Goverments are indeed guilty of human rights abuse. Not surprising though.

  93. Just last year, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing (the UN's independent expert on the right to adequate housing) undertook an extensive mission to the U.S. She offered several recommendations on how U.S. policy can be changed in order to better respect, protect and fulfill the right to adequate housing.

    On the foreclosure crisis, one suggest was that "Empty foreclosed properties should be made available using incentives for the sale of the property to non-profit organizations or community land trusts, in order to increase the stock of affordable housing." She also had recommendations regarding specific legislation.

    She also addressed the issue of public housing, particularly since the U.S. has been privatizing public housing and developing that real estate for more affluent groups. She found that "Funding cuts in the past years have severely affected the maintenance of public housing. Some units have become dilapidated; many have been lost due to deterioration and decay. Additional funding is needed to properly maintain and restore the remaining public housing stock. The Government should also strengthen legislation on health standards for subsidized buildings, and ensure proper maintenance and pest control." She also stated that "given the crisis in affordable housing,
    an immediate moratorium is required on the demolition and disposition of public
    housing until such time as one-for-one replacement housing is secured, and the right to return is guaranteed to all residents. Housing should be made available for displaced residents before any unit is demolished."

    The full report is available here: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G10/10

  94. Just last year, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing (the UN's independent expert on the right to adequate housing) undertook an extensive mission to the U.S. She offered several recommendations on how U.S. policy can be changed in order to better respect, protect and fulfill the right to adequate housing.

    On the foreclosure crisis, one suggest was that "Empty foreclosed properties should be made available using incentives for the sale of the property to non-profit organizations or community land trusts, in order to increase the stock of affordable housing." She also had recommendations regarding specific legislation.

    She also addressed the issue of public housing, particularly since the U.S. has been privatizing public housing and developing that real estate for more affluent groups. She found that "Funding cuts in the past years have severely affected the maintenance of public housing. Some units have become dilapidated; many have been lost due to deterioration and decay. Additional funding is needed to properly maintain and restore the remaining public housing stock. The Government should also strengthen legislation on health standards for subsidized buildings, and ensure proper maintenance and pest control." She also stated that "given the crisis in affordable housing,
    an immediate moratorium is required on the demolition and disposition of public
    housing until such time as one-for-one replacement housing is secured, and the right to return is guaranteed to all residents. Housing should be made available for displaced residents before any unit is demolished."

    The full report is available here: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G10/10

  95. Just last year, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing (the UN's independent expert on the right to adequate housing) undertook an extensive mission to the U.S. She offered several recommendations on how U.S. policy can be changed in order to better respect, protect and fulfill the right to adequate housing.

    On the foreclosure crisis, one suggest was that "Empty foreclosed properties should be made available using incentives for the sale of the property to non-profit organizations or community land trusts, in order to increase the stock of affordable housing." She also had recommendations regarding specific legislation.

    She also addressed the issue of public housing, particularly since the U.S. has been privatizing public housing and developing that real estate for more affluent groups. She found that "Funding cuts in the past years have severely affected the maintenance of public housing. Some units have become dilapidated; many have been lost due to deterioration and decay. Additional funding is needed to properly maintain and restore the remaining public housing stock. The Government should also strengthen legislation on health standards for subsidized buildings, and ensure proper maintenance and pest control." She also stated that "given the crisis in affordable housing,
    an immediate moratorium is required on the demolition and disposition of public
    housing until such time as one-for-one replacement housing is secured, and the right to return is guaranteed to all residents. Housing should be made available for displaced residents before any unit is demolished."

    The full report is available here: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G10/10

  96. Robert, you are correct that most governments do violate the right to adequate housing and, unfortunately, often do so with impunity. I work on this issue globally and can offer my opinion from that perspective. The U.S. is an interesting context as we here in the U.S. generally are kept in the dark about economic, social and cultural rights, and you can even see from the comments in this blog what kind of impact that has had. Indeed, until very recently, the U.S. was always the lone "no" vote on resolutions reaffirming the right to adequate housing (and other economic, social and cultural rights) at the Human Rights Council and its predecessor the UN Commission on Human Rights. This antagonistic and outlying position occurred under both GOP and Dem administrations.

    Like I said above, we don't need to discuss whether or not housing should be a human right, it clearly is and has been since at least 1948 when the global community, including the U.S., drafted and adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The right to adequate housing has since been reaffirmed in several subsequent treaties either explicitly (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Revised European Social Charter) or under jurisprudence associated with other treaties (including treaties to which the U.S. is a party such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights). The right to adequate housing is even explicitly in the Constitutions of several countries, such as South Africa and Kenya, or implicitly in many others (India, much of Europe and Latin America) or guaranteed by legislation (France, for example).

    Like I said before, many of us in the U.S. aren't even aware of these human rights, and that lack of awareness is what allows violations to occur with impunity. What is needed more than ever, and more than ever in the U.S., is a strong grassroots movement to claim and enforce all of our human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights which includes the right to adequate housing (as well as to education, health care, food, water, etc). Amnesty International, as a membership based organization, is well placed to have its members speak out in our respective communities to ensure that everyone knows their rights and begins to demand that the U.S. address housing within a human rights framework and demand accountability to human rights standards when the U.S. falls short of meeting those standards.

  97. Just last year, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing (the UN’s independent expert on the right to adequate housing) undertook an extensive mission to the U.S. She offered several recommendations on how U.S. policy can be changed in order to better respect, protect and fulfill the right to adequate housing.

    On the foreclosure crisis, one suggest was that “Empty foreclosed properties should be made available using incentives for the sale of the property to non-profit organizations or community land trusts, in order to increase the stock of affordable housing.” She also had recommendations regarding specific legislation.

    She also addressed the issue of public housing, particularly since the U.S. has been privatizing public housing and developing that real estate for more affluent groups. She found that “Funding cuts in the past years have severely affected the maintenance of public housing. Some units have become dilapidated; many have been lost due to deterioration and decay. Additional funding is needed to properly maintain and restore the remaining public housing stock. The Government should also strengthen legislation on health standards for subsidized buildings, and ensure proper maintenance and pest control.” She also stated that “given the crisis in affordable housing,
    an immediate moratorium is required on the demolition and disposition of public
    housing until such time as one-for-one replacement housing is secured, and the right to return is guaranteed to all residents. Housing should be made available for displaced residents before any unit is demolished.”

    The full report is available here: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G10/107/39/PDF/G1010739.pdf?OpenElement

  98. Robert, you are correct that most governments do violate the right to adequate housing and, unfortunately, often do so with impunity. I work on this issue globally and can offer my opinion from that perspective. The U.S. is an interesting context as we here in the U.S. generally are kept in the dark about economic, social and cultural rights, and you can even see from the comments in this blog what kind of impact that has had. Indeed, until very recently, the U.S. was always the lone “no” vote on resolutions reaffirming the right to adequate housing (and other economic, social and cultural rights) at the Human Rights Council and its predecessor the UN Commission on Human Rights. This antagonistic and outlying position occurred under both GOP and Dem administrations.

    Like I said above, we don’t need to discuss whether or not housing should be a human right, it clearly is and has been since at least 1948 when the global community, including the U.S., drafted and adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The right to adequate housing has since been reaffirmed in several subsequent treaties either explicitly (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Revised European Social Charter) or under jurisprudence associated with other treaties (including treaties to which the U.S. is a party such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights). The right to adequate housing is even explicitly in the Constitutions of several countries, such as South Africa and Kenya, or implicitly in many others (India, much of Europe and Latin America) or guaranteed by legislation (France, for example).

    Like I said before, many of us in the U.S. aren’t even aware of these human rights, and that lack of awareness is what allows violations to occur with impunity. What is needed more than ever, and more than ever in the U.S., is a strong grassroots movement to claim and enforce all of our human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights which includes the right to adequate housing (as well as to education, health care, food, water, etc). Amnesty International, as a membership based organization, is well placed to have its members speak out in our respective communities to ensure that everyone knows their rights and begins to demand that the U.S. address housing within a human rights framework and demand accountability to human rights standards when the U.S. falls short of meeting those standards.

  99. If those who have trouble seeing their way to housing as a right perhaps a comparison on costs could be applied as a way of leveraging this into the cognitive processes.
    Cost of deploying one U.S. soldier for one year in Iraq – $390,000 http://usliberals.about.com/od/homelandsecurit1/a

    Cost of a three bedroom rental unit in Southfield, Mi-$1200/month. $390,000 allows the rental of housing for 325 families.
    U.S. 2009 Monthly Spending in Iraq – $7.3 billion as of Oct 2009 –
    6.08 million rental units @ $1200/mo.
    The violence in Iraq and Afghanistan goes up or down in relation to the number of foreign troops in the area.
    Housing for everyone is not only a right, it is an affordable right

  100. If those who have trouble seeing their way to housing as a right perhaps a comparison on costs could be applied as a way of leveraging this into the cognitive processes.
    Cost of deploying one U.S. soldier for one year in Iraq – $390,000 http://usliberals.about.com/od/homelandsecurit1/a

    Cost of a three bedroom rental unit in Southfield, Mi-$1200/month. $390,000 allows the rental of housing for 325 families.
    U.S. 2009 Monthly Spending in Iraq – $7.3 billion as of Oct 2009 –
    6.08 million rental units @ $1200/mo.
    The violence in Iraq and Afghanistan goes up or down in relation to the number of foreign troops in the area.
    Housing for everyone is not only a right, it is an affordable right

  101. If those who have trouble seeing their way to housing as a right perhaps a comparison on costs could be applied as a way of leveraging this into the cognitive processes.
    Cost of deploying one U.S. soldier for one year in Iraq – $390,000 http://usliberals.about.com/od/homelandsecurit1/a

    Cost of a three bedroom rental unit in Southfield, Mi-$1200/month. $390,000 allows the rental of housing for 325 families.
    U.S. 2009 Monthly Spending in Iraq – $7.3 billion as of Oct 2009 –
    6.08 million rental units @ $1200/mo.
    The violence in Iraq and Afghanistan goes up or down in relation to the number of foreign troops in the area.
    Housing for everyone is not only a right, it is an affordable right

  102. I did not mean to neglect of course, the horrible costs costs in terms of human suffering-damaged bodies, injured psyches, lost lives, that the wars have involved, nor should we neglect those same human costs that the current housing policy inflicts on everyone.

  103. If those who have trouble seeing their way to housing as a right perhaps a comparison on costs could be applied as a way of leveraging this into the cognitive processes.
    Cost of deploying one U.S. soldier for one year in Iraq – $390,000
    http://usliberals.about.com/od/homelandsecurit1/a/IraqNumbers.htm

    Cost of a three bedroom rental unit in Southfield, Mi-$1200/month. $390,000 allows the rental of housing for 325 families.
    U.S. 2009 Monthly Spending in Iraq – $7.3 billion as of Oct 2009 -
    6.08 million rental units @ $1200/mo.
    The violence in Iraq and Afghanistan goes up or down in relation to the number of foreign troops in the area.
    Housing for everyone is not only a right, it is an affordable right

  104. Housing, Water, health care, Land to build on and/or cultivate, privacy and dignity are all basic rights, BUT impossible to reach by most, thanks to the actual submissive enslaving Privatized Banking Political and Economic systems designed for a few Oligarchs and the exclusion of the average citizen, worker and taxpayer (after the industrial era, and the coming of the so-called NEW economy). Even the American Indians had these rights (before their land was stolen) along with the Socialists (scandinavian style) and the communists (before the totalitarian war-time regime).____WHICH will always make the LAW of Sarkar on Social cycles apply BEING __Alternatively in power —- The Intellectuals (religious or other —-The Military (order) —- The Laborer or Worker (unions, socialism, communism) —- The Accumulators (like the Actual Oligarchy).

  105. The Elected forgot why they are there for____First — make the country self-sufficient (imports-exports)____Second — Redistribute the riches (so that the nessities are available to everybody, disabled poor etc…)_____Also — There are TWO kinds of Democracy___The Representative — (or Fake,US style)__and The Participative (with permanent citizens committees municipal or regional, proposing candidates for elections, and participating in all government decisions, including military, by vote or referendum)___offering citizens Stability and economic Stability (without actual Oligarchs speculation and lobbeying)

  106. I did not mean to neglect of course, the horrible costs costs in terms of human suffering-damaged bodies, injured psyches, lost lives, that the wars have involved, nor should we neglect those same human costs that the current housing policy inflicts on everyone.

  107. Housing, Water, health care, Land to build on and/or cultivate, privacy and dignity are all basic rights, BUT impossible to reach by most, thanks to the actual submissive enslaving Privatized Banking Political and Economic systems designed for a few Oligarchs and the exclusion of the average citizen, worker and taxpayer (after the industrial era, and the coming of the so-called NEW economy). Even the American Indians had these rights (before their land was stolen) along with the Socialists (scandinavian style) and the communists (before the totalitarian war-time regime).____WHICH will always make the LAW of Sarkar on Social cycles apply BEING __Alternatively in power —- The Intellectuals (religious or other —-The Military (order) —- The Laborer or Worker (unions, socialism, communism) —- The Accumulators (like the Actual Oligarchy).

  108. The Elected forgot why they are there for____First — make the country self-sufficient (imports-exports)____Second — Redistribute the riches (so that the nessities are available to everybody, disabled poor etc…)_____Also — There are TWO kinds of Democracy___The Representative — (or Fake,US style)__and The Participative (with permanent citizens committees municipal or regional, proposing candidates for elections, and participating in all government decisions, including military, by vote or referendum)___offering citizens Stability and economic Stability (without actual Oligarchs speculation and lobbeying)

  109. Until the spring of 2009, I owned a house which I paid for through a small business. But in April of that year, my live-in girlfriend of 14 years had a psychotic break (not the first time, alas). In a delusional state, she claimed I was abusing her and had me served with a restraining order which claimed, among other things, that I was abusing her by having a messy office, sleeping late, not having sex with her, and refusing to go to her mother's funeral (she didn't go either). A judge signed it and there went my house and the work of 15+ years.

    The ex continues her increasingly bizarre behavior, targeting me for over a year until I sought a restraining order against her. She has now turned her attention to other people. Despite dozens of phony calls to law enforcement and other authorities by her and a fair number of legitimate calls by people who have been harassed and threatened by her, she has never had any consequences from any of her actions. Apart, of course, from getting a free house and a number of other "benefits".

    I want my house back. What about my rights?

  110. Until the spring of 2009, I owned a house which I paid for through a small business. But in April of that year, my live-in girlfriend of 14 years had a psychotic break (not the first time, alas). In a delusional state, she claimed I was abusing her and had me served with a restraining order which claimed, among other things, that I was abusing her by having a messy office, sleeping late, not having sex with her, and refusing to go to her mother’s funeral (she didn’t go either). A judge signed it and there went my house and the work of 15+ years.

    The ex continues her increasingly bizarre behavior, targeting me for over a year until I sought a restraining order against her. She has now turned her attention to other people. Despite dozens of phony calls to law enforcement and other authorities by her and a fair number of legitimate calls by people who have been harassed and threatened by her, she has never had any consequences from any of her actions. Apart, of course, from getting a free house and a number of other “benefits”.

    I want my house back. What about my rights?

  111. Really great article with some solid factual information.1 in 2 Americans falling into the poverty zone is completely unacceptable and very sad to hear. Lets hope this great nation of ours can help get each other out of debt and back on to living happy and healthy lives.

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  113. I don't understand how housing is a human right. Can you explain that to me. Don't get me wrong, I am for stopping all the foreclosures myself but not because housing is a human right but because all the foreclosures are rooted in fraud from there very beginning. The fraud begins at the time that the alleged "lender" claims that he or his lending institution are actually loaning you their money. And everything that follows thereafter is fraud. Because of lawful reasons the foreclosures need to be stopped. That right to housing idea sounds communist to me. Can you please elucidate me.

  114. The Answer to the question "How can the banks continue to let people live in homes that they are not paying for?" lies at the heart of our Monetary Policy. Our "money supply" comes primarily from the debts created to buy houses. If everyone paid off their homes the money supply would be critically shrunk causing, causeing a recession or a collapse. To combat this, we (currently) need to create the demand for MORE loans to resuply the "money supply" in circulation. It is completely concievable that leaving these people in place, with their principle frozen, and no payments being recieved by the bank, would NOT effect anyone other than the profit of the banks. I am working on a "Proposal" based in part on the ideas of "moneytruth.org" and "new econony work group". I will first post it at Common Ground PAC facebook page and later on CommonGroundPAC.com (once I get it up and running).

  115. It's great, a legalized scam. So much lies to get people in the homes to later kick them out. It was all legalized scams! But, if we the people ran those type of scams to et outragious money for other things like marbles or tables we'd be in jail so fast.

  116. Maybe the banks should have not given out 490,000 loans for 53,000 homes. What a scam.

  117. Facts aren't needed the actions around us support what is going on. It is a crying shame to see our Country go from being the strongest country on this planet to the weakest and all the while people in this country lived in their shell neglecting to face facts based on actions around them. We all suffer in 1 way or another, the more money has to be made to support the millions of homeless people and foreclosures the more the value of the dollar bill goes down, which means working 3 to 4 times harder then what was needed in the past to make up that lost. Companies down size to cut cost, making the workload very difficult on employees left to pick up the load. Taxes are higher, Insurance Rates are higher yet paychecks keep getting smaller and smaller and Sr people lose their jobs. Our system has failed us all. The Government can't fix it it doesn't matter what Party gets in. The damage is done, the sad thing is our Government knew this was going on and allowed it to happen.

  118. Most Vets are homeless not because of money because many get enough to rent in a ghetto but policies have been made to force men out of the projects in their community due to their gender and race.

    According to Oprah video 70% of black women are single and at the looks of the prison population the amount of discrimination towards men its absolutely unreal to me its not a social problem but a scum bag problem.

    When a man can work and can not have access to housing due to his gender it proves disparate impact and treatment is a real agenda for men .

  119. Hey, I'm trying to find the source that proves this part;

    "In addition, approximately 3.5 million people in the U.S. are homeless, many of them veterans. It is worth noting that, at the same time, there are 18.5 million vacant homes in the country."

    It's a horrible fact if it's true, I'm looking for the original source in case I want to write about it.