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Maintenance is a problem, and consolidating the footprint is a good thing.  But when we have families that are homeless because they couldn't afford an exorbitant mortgage, but who still qualify for un-employment and welfare and who still have a car, placing them in viable abandoned or foreclosed properties on condition of basic maintenance might be a good option.  Some may be able to provide child care for others who might find permanent, part time or occasional work.  Provision of home health care, transportation, shopping, etc. for the elderly, with appropriate supervision, could be a possibility.  The idea would be to pay the equivalent of rent in useful social services that would otherwise be unaffordable.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 17th, 2009 at 07:19:14 PM EST
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