This is why the Tea Party exists: 3,500 vacant residential buildings with the ability to house about 70,000 people and New York City is spending – last time I checked – over $30K per year for each homeless family it shelters.

No, wait. A lot of the buildings are owned by … New York City.

No, wait. Picture the Homeless has begun classes to show homeless people how to homestead vacant properties, and homesteading includes paying taxes on the property. You know, those taxes that help the City of New York and the State of New York provide services to its residents.

So… there are homeless people who are decreasing New York City’s budget by tens of thousands of dollars and increasing city and state income and people are up in arms about that? No, wait. The City Council isn’t happy about that? Really? Why?

I understand there’s more to the issue. Most people don’t want that stereotypical homeless person squatting in an empty building in their neighborhood. Picture the Homeless isn’t giving squatting lessons. They’re giving classes in homesteading: making vacant buildings livable, and paying taxes on properties. Your stereotypical neighborhood bum who passes out on the sidewalk has other priorities than homesteading a vacant property in your neighborhood.

I don’t know what I’m missing here that this would even be something that anyone would be against: governments spend less money, get more income, neighborhoods lose abandoned properties (and if abandoned properties mean more crime, then less abandoned properties is a good thing, right?). Who loses in this scenario? Well, those druggies have a few less places to squat.

04. April 2012 by sojourner hardeman
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