Saturday, March 21, 2009

At a loss

After watching 20/20 last night, I became curious. What is the cheapest house in Detroit? I was astonished! I found PAGES of houses for $50. Now granted, these are burned out boarded up and currently unlivable, but I never would have thought there would be so many. Where did all of these people go?
Then I wondered, what is the least expensive livable home? I found some that weren't burned out but were still boarded up at $2000. The boarding up means they are empty and it's the bank's way to keep out undesirables (a word the bank might have once used for the previous home-owners who lost their factory jobs and couldn't keep their homes) now it means vandals.
So I then see a picture of a home with green grass, large trees, no boards. A bank-owned, very cute, $2200 home.

Look closely and you will see what I saw. There is man sitting on his front porch. The front porch of his home. The home that the bank has taken away from him and is now selling for $2200. This home has been cared for. This home is not yet abandoned. This home has an occupant. How heart-broken is this man that he is in such dire straits that he cannot pay $2200 to keep his house? I couldn't help it. I cried. I cried for my own lost house, my lost American dream. I cried because if I had the resources I would buy this man his home and give it back to him. These were once great, lively, friendly neighborhoods. There were families and dogs and cookouts. There was bike riding and sledding and homework at the kitchen table.
Where have these people been forced to go? How long will this last? Will we ever get back that dream? I feel as if a whole city is dying. And yet, we cannot bail out the auto industry with the same gusto and abandon that we bailed out the financial industry? I bet those 450 financial employees who got their million dollar bonus' are not sitting on their porches in the sunshine wondering what will happen to their home. We should be ashamed.

1 comment:

jendoop said...

I didn't see 20/20, it is happening all over. I don't know how people are doing it, where they are going and what they do to take care of their families. It would seem to make sense to give a family a break for so little money. I heard on NPR the other day that the bank loses about 20% of the value of a home when they foreclose, so it makes sense for them to work with the homeowner, yet they don't. The banking climate of "nasty big brother" needs to change to a more understanding role of finding a way to make it work, compromising- instead of all or nothing. I'm sorry that you have such personal experience with it.