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By LauraLouzader
#5402
Almost every large American city has vast tracts of unutilized or underutilized land, usually located in proximity to very expensive, highly utilized land. Every city also has large and increasing numbers of homeless folk, and you can't help but notice that these two phenomena go hand in hand. Often, this land contains improvements, consisting mostly of abondoned and deteriorated residential and commercial structures, and is owned by the city, having been abondoned by its previous owners with taxes and liens against it.

Why not parcel this land out to the homeless to be homesteaded by them. Homesteading lets you establish your ownership of the land by occupying and improving it - you have a time frame during which you must occupy the land and must work it or improve it.

Building codes could be relaxed to permit simpler dwellings with say, two apts and a shared bath and kitchen, and the bureacracy involved in obtaining easements, permits, etc. simplified to bring down the cost further.

Other groups of people in addition to the homeless could benefit greatly from such a homesteading program, such as collectives of artists, authors, musicians, mad scientists. It would also put property back on the tax rolls and revive areas that have been completely abondoned.

Reward: An old bank building of my very own to homestead.
By DirtpatchSmacky
#10403
most homeless people are homeless for a reason, a very high percentage of them have mental disorders that preclude the from gainfull employment. giving them an unsafe building will not change this. Where are they to come up with the money to rehabilitate such dwellings? and the idea of having a seperate set of laws for artists etc, scares the hell out of me, why should a person have a differant, easier playing field, because he chose a profession that most dont make much money in? you basiclly said that, because artists dont make much money, they should be able to homstead and have lax codes to save em even more money. Being an artist was his/her choice. You would basiclly be starting a new class of people, how do you think this would make, say a carpenter that works his hands till they bleed, for 18 bucks an hour feel? to see some guy get a free house and the right to bypass codes that the carpenter has to abide by on the house he's paying for? Just because the guy rather decopage a tree stump instead of frame a house?
By NumboJumbo
#13583
Although I think your idea is laudable for it's attempt to solve 2 problems with one strike, I must agree with DirtPatchSmacky. I work in the building industry and have a working knowledge of the rules and regulations that govern a house. Making rules for one person and not another just simply wont happen - it's called discrimination, whether you're rich or poor. Here in the UK, I work on buildings that are to house council tenants as well as private individulas. The rules are the same for each person, regardless of your need for the property.
However, that said, maybe the government could give these people a loan to do up the house. I'm sure it would help some people to get back on the ladder of life, but I still wonder where the guarantee would come from these people that the money would eventually all be paid back.
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