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Occupy Wall Street and housing advocates

Posted by Rona Fischman October 11, 2011 01:54 PM

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Housing is part of the picture in any discussion about what is wrong with the American economy. Earlier this year, the BREN virtual book discussion was on The Big Short, by Michael Lewis. For those of you who missed it, here are the links:

How mortgage finance changed commoditizing mortgage products

How rating systems affected mortgage bond markets

Michael Lewis video about what went wrong on Wall Street

The rhetoric coming out of the Occupy Wall Street protests (and their offshoots in cities throughout the country) is turning toward issues of housing. Although the message of the protests remains intentionally broad, the connection between the lack of affordable housing and the economic injustice in America is loud and clear.

In New York City on Friday, there was a march by housing advocates. David Jones in The Real Deal described the march and quoted one of the leaders, Michael McKee. Mr. McKee has been a tenant advocate working for Tenants Political Action Committee in New York City. The Committee works to elect pro-tenant politicians. Mr. McKee says:

"I do not agree that this is a ragtag movement without a message," McKee said. "They have identified the problem in this country, they have identified who has the power in this country, it's not the government, itís the oligarch's that own the government."

In San Francisco, a crowd marched in support of Homeless Action Day. The San Francisco Chronicle reported the march and an occupation of an empty hotel. Although there were no direct demands, the message from the crowd is that they no longer accept that profits are more important than people.

The problem is that we "Ö just accept the fact that profits are more important than people's comforts and people's lives."

There is a Fox News poll regarding the Wall Street Occupation going on right now. Even at that conservative site, the poll indicates that 68 percent of those who responded chose:

Yes. These folks are right about corporate greed and what's happening to the little guy.

Do you see housing as an economic justice issue? Are you mad as hell and not willing to take it anymore? Do you support the Wall Street Occupation? Do you think housing is part of the anger out there? Is housing being talked about enough?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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