According to a CNBC article published Jan. 31st, 2011 (written by Diana Olick): “There were 18.4 million vacant homes in the U.S. in Q4 ‘10 (11 percent of all housing units vacant all year round), which is actually an improvement of 427,000 from a year ago, but not for the reasons you’d think. The number of vacant homes for rent fell by 493 thousand, as rental demand rose. 471,000 homes are listed as “Held off Market” about half for temporary use, but the other half are likely foreclosures. And no, the shadow inventory isn’t just 200,000, it’s far higher than that.”
This means that there are over 5 times as many empty homes as there are homeless people in the U.S.
-U.S. Census in 2010 = 18.4 million EMPTY homes
-National Coalition of the Homeless = 3.5 million (and rising) people WITHOUT homes, 39% of which are children
What to expect in 2011? The Wall Street Journal, as have many others, reported that foreclosure rates are expected to continue to CLIMB throughout 2011 to reach new record highs.
And, the U.S. Government Response so far:
–NO eviction/foreclosure moratorium for the people (while the banks who got us into this mess receive over $1 trillion in bailouts);
–MASSIVE proposed budget CUTS to already under-funded low-income housing and homeless programs (while the wealthiest homeowners will continue to receive housing subsidies, e.g., Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction, at a cost to the feds of over $144 billion in 2010); AND
–A plan for federal rental assistance to low-income families that jeopardizes the very resources our communities need most in this time of crisis.