Letter: A better way to ‘occupy’



Recently, New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof suggested the Occupy movement move on to Occupy the Agenda rather than occupying real estate. I immediately had an idea that combines the two.

These things I know:

  1. Empty commercial buildings and foreclosed homes would benefit by being occupied. Empty real estate suffers when no one is home — whether it’s commercial or homes.

  2. Many folks are on the streets, in homeless shelters, living on couches. Most of them would prefer to live in a home.

Here’s my idea:

  1. Open up a high percentage of unoccupied real estate to house people who have no homes.

  2. All financial institutions culpable for the current economic mess would:

a) Pay all utilities and maintenance.

b) Fund programs to match people with the places to live.

c) Fund programs to oversee ongoing issues between the owners and the occupiers.

  1. Occupiers who benefit would be responsible for the physical work of cleaning and ongoing maintenance to property.

  2. Funding would come from two sources:

a) Billions of dollars in profit reported by financial institutions.

b) Cutting CEO salaries by half or more.

Gretchen Meyer