Addressing the housing part of this issue... a way to help with housing and promote their economic independence.
Many people who are economically disadvantaged and want to improve their situation have the motivation, but not the means, to do so.
Also, every city has vacant residential buildings, resulting in reduced tax revenue, neighborhood deterioration, and increases in crime..
The “trades” – construction, electrical, plumbing, HVAC – are hurting for workers.
1. Identify people who want to learn a trade and improve their lives through “sweat equity.”
2. Identify vacant multi-unit residential buildings.
3. Get the trades “on board” to provide training, apprenticeships, and jobs. Perhaps offer a tax credit or other benefit for doing so.
4. Get social service agencies to vet applicants for interest / ability to join the program, provide training and support with finances, home ownership, etc.
5. Program participants select a trade (after an orientation to each as part of vetting), attend training classes and serve an apprenticeship with the company.
6. One part of the apprenticeship is working on a vacant building.
7. The people who apprentice on the vacant building will receive a unit in the building to live in, when it is completed. The first five years will be as a tenant, with rent paid by income and, if needed, rental assistance.
8. For the first two or three years, there will be required classes and supports to help them manage their new lives. People will be expected to maintain a job (even if changing companies), pay their bills, and pay 25% to 30% as rent.
9. Rent will be used for general maintenance, with a portion escrowed for capital needs in the future.
10. When they live there five years, they are deeded their unit, with full ownership rights.
11. When these buildings are occupied with folks who own their homes and want a good neighborhood, businesses will come back, and start an economic upswing.
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