Video from Foreclosure Ground Zero

October 6th, 2008

I don’t want to think about how much of my metered bandwidth I used to watch this piece, but once it started, I couldn’t look away.

Via: KCET:

For the past few years, the Inland Empire in Riverside County has been one of the fastest growing counties in the state – home to a major housing boom. But now the Inland Empire is pretty much the poster child for the foreclosure crisis. In the newer developments, house after house sits vacant – either up for auction, for sale by a bank or going for what’s called a “short sale” which is when the owner owes more than the house is worth.

SoCal Connected tracked down some surreal sights associated with the crisis – a company that specializes in removing whatever people leave behind in their foreclosed homes. The process is called a “trashout” – a term the company came up with because it perfectly describes what happens. Everything that’s left is dumped in a trailer and taken to the landfill.
Then there’s the guy who started a business to spray-paint dead lawns. That’s right. He paints brown lawns green. We also tag along with a couple of code enforcement officers who are spending more and more of their time having to drain slimy, abandoned pools.

Finally, we meet a typical couple who bought their first home, thinking it was a great investment and tax write-off. Now the place is worth only half of what they paid for it and their neighborhood has almost as many vacant homes as occupied ones.

One of the code enforcement guys sums up the problem in a single sentence – “You know you’re in trouble when the lawns are brown and the pools are green!”

Research Credit: ottilie

Posted in Economy | Top Of Page

3 Responses to “Video from Foreclosure Ground Zero”

  1. Loveandlight Says:

    Spraying petrochemical-based paint on the Earth? That really sounds like something that should be considered an ecological crime! The idea that we need to have these mowed and manicured lawns that look like green carpets in front of our houses is pretty ridiculous in the first place. I say rip out the lawns on these foreclosed properties and let the freaking weeds take over. The weeds are nice and green, and some of them even have pretty flowers! (Yeah, the hayfever sufferers won’t like the ragweed, but nature will do what nature will do.)

  2. Loveandlight Says:

    Oops, sorry, should have watched the video first. The paint is biodegradable and the grass can grow while so painted. Still seems kind of ridiculous, but we do live in a society where the absurd is normal.

    What would I take with me in such a situation? Probably my Tarot cards and Runes along with my translation of the I-Ching, as well as my astrological ephemeris and one of my “Astrology 101” how-to books. Aside from that, some changes of clothes and my cellphone. If someone were giving me a ride in a car and offered me a very limited amount of storage space until I got back on my feet, I would probably also take my electric fan, my smaller TV that I have in storage in this building, my video-recorder, digital-converter, and powered-reception antenna. I’d leave the bigger TV I am currently using here. Giving up the puter would hurt, but there would be public libraries for getting my fix. 😀

  3. pookie Says:

    @ L&L

    yeah, I’m all about weeds these days. One nice thing about living in the country several clicks away from my nearest neighbor is that there’ll be no peevish soccer mom bitching to the “authorities” about my unmown lawn. Am taking an Edible Weeds class and am feeling virtuously healthy by picking some plantain (called “waybread” by the Anglo-Saxons) and sow thistle from my weedy environs to add to my new culinary sensation: Pookie’s World Meltdown Salad.

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