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Foreclosures, Not Shelters for the Homeless

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By : Leticia Carvalho    99 or more times read
Max Rameau, a housing advocate, stated that empty homes are a sign of continuous foreclosure, but a good chance for homeless people.

Rameau operates a program in the city of Miami which assists families to stay in vacant homes due to foreclosures. With the help of online listings and some volunteers, his foundation which is Take Back the Land provides homeless individuals with unoccupied homes.

He said his agenda is a solution to the growing number of foreclosed homes and homeless people. He was able to help 6 families already and authorities have not contradicted him so far.

Miami spokeswoman Kelly Penton said that police take actions only if there is a complaint from someone, but there is none as of now.

Rameau’s foundation aims to put an end to never-ending foreclosures, and as the government struggles to stop it, advocates and non-profits are already getting themselves involved.

  • Cleveland advocates use the city funds to purchase dumped houses and have those rented for homeless people.

  • Atlanta homeowners pay those without homes to stay in their properties considered as foreclosed to protect it.

  • Boston protesters joined in “eviction blockades” against deputy sheriffs.

National Coalition for the Homeless Executive Director Michael Stoops said that non-profits, as well as homeless people, will use the situation to their advantage.

In addition, Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless Executive Director Brian Davis said that squatting means danger for the households. He suggested spending government money to purchase homes and have those on lease for homeless people to discourage squatting.

Vida Urbana/City Life workers focus on renters being expelled from foreclosed properties. If there is awaiting eviction, City Life volunteers form a human barricade. In some cases, they go to jail, but most of the time, banks would make a negotiation to prevent negative publicity.

This year, City Life has stopped 13 evictions and most were due to bank negotiations. Rameau approached Miami banks with an aim of lawfully obtaining discounted foreclosed homes and having those on lease. Unfortunately, it looks like banks do not appear to be interested at all.
Leticia Carvalho has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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