Session 2 1:00 - 2:30
Convened by Dave Taylor
Len, Dave, Sara, Siobhan, Tony, Bernard, and Meg all contributed to the discussion

In any community, there are buildings and houses that are boarded up or otherwise abandoned. Likewise, many folks are homeless or living on the fringes.
It seems like there should be some kind of solution.

Multiple reasons and causes for homelessness - jobs disappearing, illness, drugs/alcohol, overpriced real estate.

What is housing: legal requirements, politics, shelters

Historical perspective - Tony reminded us that "in his day" there were in any downtown area residential hotels where transients or day laboreres could have a room, place for the night.
Modern Real Estate trends have made downtowns too expensive for this model.
Expensive real estate is its own god.

Housing as a basic right; hole in the safety net, families split up because of problems with affordability, irresponsible leadership has twisted priorities.
In europe, 40% of housing is socialized - the state ensures homes as a human right.
USA functions like a rich man's club. Affordable housing is socialism, and socialism is bad.

Squatting - risky because the gov't don't like it/won't permit it.
Probably get kicked out. An illegitimate solution.
Laws money neighborhoods - housing a social construct.
No institutional support for the homeless.

The gov't should put more money into housing for the poor and homeless.

Partial potential solution-
manufacturing facilities that have fallen into disuse probably won't be used for production again.
An albatross on the shoulders of the owner - make available for a new kind of residential hotel.
Not-for-profit development co.
Getting variances on zoning regulations.
Informal boarding house model.
Mixed sizes/ mixed incomes for converting industrial units.
Public safety issues.

Open letter to mayors to make properties available for conversion/re-use.
Open bidding process on city owned properties to individuals.
Find a building that has fallen into disuse and is tax delinquent. Pressurize the deed holder to allow conversion, re-zoning.


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