By adam on Feb 14, 2013 in Creepy Stuff, Overheard in Duluth, Politics
Ask the City of Duluth to use eminent domain to claim vacant houses for our affordable housing stock.
Want to reduce foreclosures and create more affordable housing in Duluth? Easy, allow folks who can’t sell thier home to rent them out. People are walking away from thier homes because the city won’t let them rent it out. Heaven forbid you have to relocate for work and can’t sell! You can’t rent, so you walk away. I think Duluth’s rental license scheme is designed to allow a few “slumlords” keep rents artificialy high.
It does seem strange that we have people who are homeless and lots of empty houses from foreclosure. Maybe renting could be an option for people. We have to do something about the homeless; this can’t continue. People need a place to live. I wish I had a good idea on this one.
I think Adam’s point in this post is that it’s a strange request to ask the city to use eminent domain to claim vacant houses.
Eminent domain is supposed to be used as sparingly as possible, for government to acquire property for construction of necessary roads, schools, etc.
To just scout around for vacant homes and seize them would be an overstep.
Eminent domain being used to acquire foreclosed homes is not a new, or necessarily radical idea. When the public good outweighs the private use, eminent domain is an option. The banking industry has been an active participant in creating and sustaining an economy that does not benefit the public good. I don’t think it is an overstep for a city to do everything it can to keep neighborhoods from falling apart because of corporate malfeasance. And, to paraphrase George Carlin, “Home” is a concept. What can we do to help the houseless?
Here here, TimK!
And, this idea is being considered in many places around the U.S. Just google “eminent domain foreclosure and you’ll get examples of how this creative thinking is taking off.
Maybe I’m confused, which would be no wonder since Adam wrote nothing and the site he links to doesn’t offer any details that I can find beyond:
“Ask the City of Duluth to use eminent domain to claim vacant houses for our affordable housing stock.”
So, are we talking about vacant houses or homes under the threat of foreclosure?
In communities that have done this, vacant or abandoned homes that are bank-owned are first choice for eminent domain. Homes that are occupied and have already been foreclosed by banks with no attempt on the part of the bank to modify the mortgage or assist the homeowner to prevent the foreclosure are also eminent domained making the city (or other unit of government) the new title-holder who in turn negotiates a new, affordable mortgage between the occupier and the city.
I’m starting to understand. I withdraw my hasty criticism and will attempt to learn more.
Duluth News Tribune: “Group says city of Duluth should buy foreclosed homes“
I wish I’d bought 20k of Ford at $1 a share instead of a foreclosed home in ’08, like I was gonna. And lived in my Chevy Van and grew my beard out until I was rich. But I believed all that bullshit about living in your van is only for bums. Any women who says she doesn’t want to live in a van is lying. She’s just afraid of the wild sex it would cause. Life used to be so easy when I was living out of my van down by the river. Now I’m on the road to being just another eminent domainer.
Well, how I feel about this may make me persona non grata on PDD. And Mr. Emmadogs just reminded me how much I enjoy reading and participating with my fellow PDDrs, and maybe I should just save this website for friendly interactions.
Oh well, here goes. I am ALL FOR banks working with mortgage holders to let them stay in their homes. But I am totally opposed to using these empty homes for homeless lodging. The results could/likely would, in my opinion, lower surrounding property values, decrease pleasure in neighborhood living, and harm each respective neighborhood.
yes I know that not every homeless person commits crimes. And I know that not every homeless person abuses drugs/alcohol. And I know that not every homeless person is mentally ill or unstable. But many are, and if that’s bad to say, it is also true. I work with indigent people and I see this in my job.
Mr Emmadogs and I owned a house in Woodland. Our next door neighbor sold his house to a local organization that helps otherwise indigent people buy homes. At the time, I thought this was great. I was wrong. The organization did not do a very good job of vetting this single mother and her children. The mother had a past criminal record, and Mr Emmadogs and I watched as her teenage son sold drugs from the house, had friends bringing guns into the house, and so on. In a short period of time, every neighbor on the block was complaining to our liason community police officer, to no avail. My last straw finally came after their pitbull pack, one of whom had charged my dog Emma and me twice, and one of whom had charged a little girl across the street from my house,, started roaming the neighborhood freely. We sold our much loved house. I believe that every neighbor on our block save one has since also sold their house.
This doesn’t mean that I think homeless people should fend on their own. But please let’s think this through before we just start endorsing a feel-good proposal that has, at least once, detrimentally impacted on a middle class neighborhood in Duluth.
Some of the most carefree days of my existence were those spent on a 35-foot Carpenter Madsen flatnose school bus, living on the side streets of Tacoma, WA…that was two decades ago. Twenty years and I’m more sedentary than I’ve ever been.
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