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If one door forecloses, does another open?

Posted by: Amy Choi on April 10, 2009

Without sounding like too much of a beast, I do believe there has to be some sort of silver lining in the foreclosure crisis. And I don’t just mean for landbankers and speculators.

Here’s one: Homeless advocates are placing homeless and displaced families into foreclosed homes, both surreptitiously and not. Is it questionable, legally? Maybe. Does it make use of shelter that would probably otherwise be sitting vacant, ignored by lenders and the government? Sure. So why not legitimize it? Nobody wants these properties.

What about for entrepreneurs? If small businesses really are the pillars of communities, they must have some role. Is there an opportunity in low-cost demolition, just as there was in construction? What about in inexpensive, effective security devices to protect against squatters? (Admittedly, that goes against the whole homeless advocacy thing.) Real estate management? Zoning consultants, as cities revamp residential areas into commercial ones?

If you have any thoughts, please leave in comments. I’d love to see how small business can both capitalize on, and ease the pressures of, the foreclosure epidemic. What can we do?

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