Homeless Turn Foreclosures into Shelters

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Homeless Turn Foreclosures into Shelters
By: Rick Jervis, USA Today
11 December 2008
 

For Max Rameau, a vacant, boarded-up home is more than just a symbol of the national housing crisis. It`s an opportunity to house the homeless.

Rameau, a homeless advocate, runs a controversial program in Miami [Florida] that helps families squat in homes vacated because of bank foreclosures. Using Internet listings and a team of volunteers, Rameau and his Take Back the Land foundation matches homeless families with empty homes.

Rameau, 39, says his efforts are creative solutions for two of America`s biggest problems: rising numbers of vacant homes and a growing homeless population. He has moved in six families since January. The authorities so far haven`t stopped him.

It`s morally indefensible to have vacant homes sitting there, potentially for years, while you have human beings on the street," Rameau says.

Kelly Penton, a city of Miami spokeswoman, says police don`t have the manpower to scour neighborhoods looking for squatters. Police only act on a complaint by a property owner, which so far hasn`t happened, she says.

People need to obey the law, obviously," Penton says. "But it has to be something that`s reported to the city.

With 44% of the nation`s 744,000 homeless unsheltered, it`s not surprising that people want to take over homes, says Michael Stoops, executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless.

Original article: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-12-10-homesquatters_N.htm


Themes
• Access to natural resources
• Access to natural resources
• Access to natural resources
• Accompanying social processes
• Accompanying social processes
• Adverse possession
• Advocacy
• Advocacy
• Advocacy
• Architecture
• Architecture
• Armed / ethnic conflict
• Armed / ethnic conflict
• Basic services
• Basic services
• Basic services
• Children
• Children
• Commodification
• Commodification
• Cultural Heritage
• Cultural Heritage
• Demographic manipulation
• Destruction of habitat
• Destruction of habitat
• Destruction of habitat
• Disability
• Disability
• Disaster mitigation
• Disaster mitigation
• Discrimination
• Discrimination
• Discrimination
• Displaced
• Displaced
• Displaced
• Displacement
• Displacement
• Displacement
• Dispossession
• Dispossession
• Dispossession
• Education
• Education
• Elderly
• Elderly
• Energy
• Energy
• Epidemics, diseases
• Epidemics, diseases
• ESC rights
• ESC rights
• ESC rights
• Extraterritorial obligations
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• Fact finding mission/field research
• Farmers/Peasants
• Financialization
• Financialization
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• Food (rights, sovereignty, crisis)
• Food (rights, sovereignty, crisis)
• Forced evictions
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• Human rights
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• Security of tenure
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• Stateless
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• Tenants
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