The rising number of foreclosures has created an abundance of vacant homes in some communities. Now it appears that homeless people are beginning to take advantage of the situation by becoming squatters, reports the Detroit Free Press.
For squatters, foreclosed homes have an advantage over abandoned, dilapidated housing because the heat, lights and water still work. “Many homeless people see the foreclosure crisis as an opportunity to find low-cost housing (FREE!) with some privacy,” said Brian Davis, the director of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless.
Cleveland had the country’s sixth highest foreclosure rate, with 2.972 percent of homes in some stage of foreclosure in 2007, according to RealtyTrac. The city also has seen a steady increase in the number of squatters. Davis said there are about 4,000 homeless in the Cleveland area on any given night, while an estimated 15,000 single-family homes are vacant due to foreclosure.