With home foreclosures reaching all time highs, unemployment rates skyrocketing and millions of Americans struggling every day to make ends meet, a handful of groups across the country are breaking the law to help families put roofs over their heads. Advocacy groups like the Miami based Take Back the Land, Kensington Welfare Rights Union in Philadelphia and Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign in Minnesota have moved dozens of homeless families into vacant foreclosed houses over the last several months.
As reported in the New York Times, CNN and on Fox News these organizations set themselves apart from unorganized bands of squatters in that they oftentimes screen their "clients" for mental illness and drug dependency, and require them to pay all utilities and keep up with housecleaning and maintenance.
Once a family passes the screening process the group will help them move into the foreclosed house, set up utilities, change the locks while absorbing most of the initial expenses. Though removing squatters used to be a top priority for local law enforcement, it is being reported that sheriffs are often turning their heads or just too busy to patrol with the huge rise in foreclosures.
To evict someone from a foreclosed house law enforcement needs to have a signed affidavit from the owner of the property - usually a bank. With the economy as bad as it is and the market flooded with vacant homes, a family may live under these conditions for close to a year before any one takes notice.
What do you think of the organizations that are illegally placing homeless people into vacant homes?
Should law enforcement officials simply look the other way when squatters take up residence in a foreclosed home?