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Proof Positive of the Evils of Capitalism

November 7, 2014

Most expensive homes in NYC: Empty

by Yari Osorio

Liberation News spoke to Scott Hutchins, who is a member of housing advocacy group Picture the Homeless, about what he thought of all these empty homes.

“I think it’s outrageous!” exclaimed Hutchins, a longtime resident of New York City who, after getting his master’s degree, had a medical emergency that forced him into debt and then onto welfare for the first time in his life. Hutchins, who is now 38, conversed with me via phone, explaining what a real solution to homelessness could look like while sitting in his current residence—a city shelter in the Bronx.

“If you want to have a pieds-a-terre—ok, that’s your business, but it shouldn’t be done off the backs of others. There should be a tax on these homes.”

When I asked what that money should go towards, he replied, “Well, they should go to help the homeless but not to make more shelters. Shelters don’t work, it is not stable housing and that’s what people need. People don’t realize shelters are big business as well.”

Hutchins explained how supposed housing non-profits like Cuomo’s Help USA regularly post a huge “surplus” of money that was supposed to go to help homeless individuals but wind up in the pockets of administrators instead.

“Our main focus is to get community control of land. That is how we will be able to keep rent prices down. They should tax those empty homes and the money should be given to community land trusts. In the meantime, the city can work on finding real homes for individuals, stable housing, that’s what we need.”

As long as houses are treated first and foremost as property to be bought and sold—and not as homes—we will continue to see empty homes with homeless people sleeping outside them.

I was surprised about the quick turnaround on this article. He didn’t show it to me, so there are some inaccuracies, and the grammar needs my red pen, but the point of the article still stands–capitalism pushes the poor to the streets while rich capitalists use empty homes to make money and ripoff the taxpayer.

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