Could an Urban Homestead Act Work?
Many, if not most urban areas have a section(s) of the city that have seen better days. Sometimes a movement gets started and neighborhoods get intrinsically better. Think Greenwich Villiage in the 60s or DUMBO in the early 2000s. Other times the decay and down slide continue unchecked for decades. What if governments did a form of urban homesteading?
1. City take possession of zombie properties
2. Have an application and review process for prospective homesteaders. Criteria to be set by city leaders.
3. Application fee would cover the cost of the application and review process only.
4. Selected homesteaders would take possession immediately, be responsible for upkeep, security, etc. within 30 days.
5. Homesteaders would have 6 months for property to be their primary residence.
6. Homesteaders would have title, city would hold a lien for current market value.
7. Homesteaders would be barred from renting, sub-letting, etc. for 3 yrs.
8. Taxes, utilities, etc. must be kept current.
9. At end of 5 years, property must be current on all taxes, codes, etc. AND be worth at least equal to median home price in area.
10. If all conditions met, homesteader receives deed, free and clear.
11. I’m sure there are lots of flaws here. Let’s hear them.
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