THE cases

How Did 78-Year Old James Mader Wind Up in a Cleveland Prison?

Every day, some of the most vulnerable members of our society, nearly all of whom are already facing financial hardships and the other struggles of life, face fines and jail because they do not have the money to maintain their properties. While cities increasingly blame mortgage companies and the "mortgage crises" for rising vacancy rates,  this is simply not the full truth: Nearly every city we've studied that faces an abandoned homes crises suffers from poor economic growth, low wages, healthcare costs that working-class residents and seniors cannot afford, high crime, and the lack of an aggressive immigration policy designed to bring new residents into their city. We have news for urban cities: America was built by immigrants migrating to America, working hard to get out of the slums, and their children achieving more than their parents could have ever imagined. Without immigrants, New York would have failed. So, Detroit surely has no chance. 


If cities cannot do their part, then why are they jailing the homeowners they claim are not doing their part? 


There's a reason there are no abandoned homes Beverly Hills.



Mrs. Johnson’s home is an abandoned home because after she retired the costs of her medication prevented her from affording both her medicine and her home. 


Mrs. Dixon's is an abandoned home because she was forced to decide between divorcing an unfaithful husband who had become addicted to crack cocaine and keeping her home.


No Pension

Mr. Peso's home is an abandoned home because he was convinced by a scam artist to invest in two rental properties in Ohio to supplement is retirement income. 


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