There Are 24 Empty Houses for Every Homeless Person in America

Homeless PeopleLloyd Alter writes on Treehugger:

That is what the census says. Andrew Leonard in Salon notes that it is a bit misleading, that “4.7 million are for “seasonal use” only, the Census tells us — unoccupied vacation homes, in other words. 4.1 million are for rent, 2.3 million are for sale, and the remaining 7.5 million “were vacant for a variety of other reasons.”

The census also lists the total number of homeless in America as 759,101, so there are 24 empty houses for every homeless person in America. What a shocking mis-allocation of resources, materials and energy …

Read More: Treehugger

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35 Responses to There Are 24 Empty Houses for Every Homeless Person in America

  1. FourEyes March 10, 2012 at 1:57 am #

    God bless America!

    • MarcVader March 11, 2012 at 11:54 am #

       And all the other deities… Let’s not forgo the potential of their blessings! Besides if the believers were helping the needy as they supposedly should this god you speak of wouldn’t need to. Not that he seems to care anyway.

  2. thegeniusfiles March 10, 2012 at 2:24 am #

    Sounds like a lowball figure for number of homeless in usa. Just look around you.

    • Jin The Ninja March 10, 2012 at 2:35 am #

      that is the problem with statistical sociology, it can be useful, but depending on methodology it can be used for more nefarious purposes such as obfuscation of numbers like homelessness, poverty, and  unemployement.

  3. Jin The Ninja March 10, 2012 at 2:45 am #

    ‘property is…’

    • Anarchy Pony March 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

      Theft! What do I win!?

      • Hadrian999 March 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

        the funny thing is without ideas like property and wealth and poverty people have no reason to work. in a socialist world it is stupid to work any harder or produce any more than the least productive members of society. for it to work it requires a high level of morality and ethics that you will never get out of people.

        • Anarchy Pony March 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

          Humanity’s fucked anyway, so who cares?

        • Marklar_Prime March 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

          Yet in a capitalist system the game is always rigged by the already wealthy so that upward mobility through “hard work” becomes nearly impossible and immoral criminality becomes the best way to advance leaving you,… well here and now. The answer then is a rational middle ground rather than some some zealot’s extremist pipe dream on one end or the other.

          The false left right paradigm is not confined to political parties but extends itself quite well to economic ideologies as well.

          • Hadrian999 March 10, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

             both extremes lead pretty much to the same place just with a different mythology used to justify the ruling elite

        • razzlebathbone March 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

          Without the fear of hell and damnation, without the incentive of eternal paradise in heaven, there is no reason not to murder people at random, and no reason to be nice to anyone.*

          Without the fear of starvation and death, without the incentive of fabulous riches, there is no reason not to sit back and do nothing, and no reason to contribute to the good of society.*

          (*if you happen to be a sociopath, that is)

          • Hadrian999 March 11, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

             if your boss came to you and said you would never receive a promotion or pay raise but that you could never be fired, how hard do you see yourself working, If you were some Einstein or Isaac newton level intrllrct but found out you could never rise above the standard of living enjoyed by a garbage man or office temp would you really drive yourself to great heights or would you just coast

          • SF2K01 March 12, 2012 at 1:25 am #

            There really have been people like that. It was the inspiration that Scott Adams used to create Dilbert’s Wally character, who is based on a real person he knew. Needles to say if you know the strip, you know he does as little real work as he can get away with.

          • razzlebathbone March 12, 2012 at 3:46 am #

            I’m not as smart as Einstein or Newton, but I am like them in at least one respect: they didn’t do what they did because they wanted to get rich. Money helped them to get by, but they did what they did because they wanted something loftier than money. I’m dedicated to my work, but that’s because I can make the world just a little better by doing it, not because of the money.

            If you’re not a sociopath, then you want your work to be more than just a source of income. You want to make your mark on the world with it, and you want it to be something people will be grateful for. You almost certainly want to cover your necessities and some modest luxuries too, but money alone can’t motivate you to excellence.

            So. Are you a sociopath, or a proper human being?

          • Hadrian999 March 12, 2012 at 11:40 am #

             it would be nice if the majority of people had meaningful jobs but most dont, people do things like collect garbage, mill machine parts, work in warehouses, package goods, sort mail…..for the money. society is driven by people doing hideous dull mindless jobs

          • razzlebathbone March 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

            Here’s the thing about garbage collection: it has a real, tangible, immediate effect on people’s lives. At the end of the day, a garbage carrier knows he has accomplished something that made people’s lives better. If you don’t think it makes a difference, you have never lived through a garbage strike in the city.

            It’s true that there are meaningless jobs that don’t make anyone’s life any better. But guess what! Those jobs don’t actually need to be done. Why not? Because they don’t actually make people’s lives any better!

            Which brings us back to the actual topic. If someone is doing a useless bullshit job like that, there is no reason to pay them tons of money to do their useless bullshit more efficiently, because it’s still useless bullshit. And yet the highest paid people in the world make their money from (gasp) USELESS BULLSHIT. You don’t want them to be paid megabucks for that and neither do I.

          • Hadrian999 March 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

             it’s a useful job……that nobody would do if they had a choice. you remove the threat of poverty nobody would do jobs like that. if you remove the mythical hitting it big carrot from the equation people will do the bare minimum, the reason capitalism works as a system and socialism doesn’t is because socialism requires high levels of morality and ethics to function and capitalism requires that people act like greedy vicious animals.

          • razzlebathbone March 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

            And without the threat of hell, we would just murder each other all the time for no reason.

            It looks as though you and I have nothing to offer one another. Sad. I had hoped I might get through to you.

          • Hadrian999 March 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

            if you wish to count on people being good to each other go right ahead, I rely on how the world actually works
             

          • Monkey See Monkey Do March 13, 2012 at 6:35 am #

            So obviously you believe that capitalism has no effect on the way people are…

            Really?
            Think about it.

          • Hadrian999 March 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

            unless you know of a way to reset all people to a pre capitalist version of cultural programming it’s essentially a useless question, the anarchist idea that people will magically turn into helpful paragons of community spirit and cooperation if only you can knock down the corporations is dangerously naive. people are very invested in the system, they like it, it gives them place and purpose and a feeling of accomplishment. it also tells them who they are allowed to lock down on. how do you intend to universally break that.

      • Jin The Ninja March 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

         a big shiny ‘A’.

        • Anarchy Pony March 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

          Hooray! It’s just like high school! Except without the crippling awkwardness around females and the inability to keep up with fads.

          • Jin The Ninja March 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

            and for that you get the special “A”

          • Anarchy Pony March 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

            My favorite kind!

  4. NotTrollin March 10, 2012 at 4:36 am #

    So, it’s a buyer’s market right now. These bums should be able to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and buy themselves a house, easily! It’s the American Way! 

    • Andrew March 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

      Paul Conrad:

    • Pansy March 11, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

      Who can get loans? They are homeless because they lost jobs. And there are lots of people who aren’t homeless because they moved in with their parents or friends. I am in California and housing prices have not gone down.

  5. rtb61 March 10, 2012 at 6:57 am #

    So a society of not having way more than you need but of specifically excluding others from accessing it.

  6. Hadrian999 March 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    i  can only imagine the giant shitstorm that would occur if  a democratic administration tried to use vacant properties to help the homeless

  7. Anarchy Pony March 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    And in some places, they’re building even more, can you spell insanity?

  8. Anon March 10, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    There is no way that there are only fewer than 800,000 homeless in the United States. This is 75*,*** SELF-REPORTING homeless. How many homeless people do you think filled out the census? I can’t imagine very many do. I read a report from Hud that recognized almost 1.4 million in 2009 and I can’t imagine there are fewer now.

  9. Harryheck March 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    one must realize, owners of vacant property (banks, landlords) would have a shitstorm if the homeless were allowed to dwell in such buildings.  this is because those bankers and landlords are allowed to “write off” the POTENTIALLY LOST INCOME by having those properties vacant.  meaning, if a landlord with a $2000/month house doesn’t rent it out, they can claim a loss of $2000/month on their taxes (lost income/investment loss).  they have a reason for keeping properties vacant–especially if they are exceedingly wealthy and possess multiple properties.  in effect, if one rents a $2000/month property while keeping another $2000/month property vacant, their income is tax free.

    hang ‘em all.

  10. john August 13, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    Significant homeless need institutional care. Significant homeless are jobless with no income. Do you want either to live in a vacant home in your neighbor hood for free? Why not? Still feel sorry for the homeless?

  11. Danlien February 17, 2014 at 4:24 am #

    I wonder how many of those are actually livable. I’m sure many of those are outbuildings, outhouses, etc…

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