Ever since I began to educate myself about homelessness, I have felt frustrated by the wasted real estate in so many cities, big and small that sit vacant. If I owned such a property, or was the one responsible for what should be done with it, I would welcome having squatters stay there to find some small refuge from the weather. Screw the legalities or what the neighbors think.
It wasn’t until fairly recently that I found out in some countries, if squatters take over an abandoned house and stay there long enough, they actually gain the rights to the property under the right circumstances. This has apparently been a time honored tradition in some cities. This idea has now found a foothold in the U.S.
Recently I found the article below and applaud the efforts of the people who promote this movement to reclaim foreclosed, empty houses. Let’s reclaim our resources, both property and people.
The term “squatter” conjures images of the predominantly young, urban hipsters who in decades past claimed vacant property in areas such as New York City’s Lower East Side. But with five times as many vacant homes as homeless people in the U.S. today, a new wave of squatters – just as likely to be hard-hit families like Smith’s as young activists making a political statement – is moving into vacant foreclosed properties in cities like Chicago, New York and Minneapolis.