Look, the housing crisis is a disaster, and it really sucks that millions are out of work and at risk of losing their homes or have already lost their job or their home or both, but when I read this story, it really pissed me off:
When the woman who calls herself Queen Omega moved into a three-bedroom house here last December, she introduced herself to the neighbors, signed contracts for electricity and water and ordered an Internet connection.
What she did not tell anyone was that she had no legal right to be in the home.
Ms. Omega, 48, is one of the beneficiaries of the foreclosure crisis. Through a small advocacy group of local volunteers called Take Back the Land, she moved from a friend’s couch into a newly empty house that sold just a few years ago for more than $400,000.
Michael Stoops, executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, said about a dozen advocacy groups around the country were actively moving homeless people into vacant homes — some working in secret, others, like Take Back the Land, operating openly.
In addition to squatting, some advocacy groups have organized civil disobedience actions in which borrowers or renters refuse to leave homes after foreclosure.
These people aren’t just “squatting” or engaging in “civil disobedience” or striking a blow against tyranny or whatever the hell else you want to call it. They are stealing, they are trespassing, and they are breaking the damned law. And while the NY times may think it is glamorous or sexy or a real power to the people moment, they should be clear about what is going on here and what a mess this sort of behavior causes for the authorities. If they can’t figure out why this is problematic, maybe they should read their own damned NY Times magazine about the problems squatters and illegals and looters cause in Cleveland. Give Tom Brancatelli a call and ask what he thinks about this.