Occupiers Fixing Up a Foreclosure in East New York

City Room has details about the group of Occupy Wall Street members who have taken over a house in East New York that was foreclosed in 2008. According to the story, the home is a wreck: It lacks running water and electricity, and there is mold covering the ceiling and old furnishings left to rot that need to be removed. The plan is to make the house habitable for a woman named Tasha Glasgow, her companion and her two children, who are currently squatting in an apartment in East Rockaway. A person who lives across the street from the East New York house said she saw the occupation as positive for the neighborhood, noting that the vacant building had attracted criminal activity and “we need the house to be occupied by somebody.”
Foreclosed in Brooklyn: House Repairs as Protest [City Room]
Photo by Brennan Cavanaugh

30 Comment

  • the banks shouldn’t of been bail out. now they don’t give a rats ass about anything they own since it was free money. if they weren’t bailed out they would sell the property to someone who cares and fix it up instead of just siting there.

  • Love the armchair quarterbacking of whether banks should or should not have been bailed out. It shows a deep intellectual thought process.

  • This is a double edged sword here. On one hand it’s laudable that a derelict problem property gets “cleaned up” and someone gets a place to live. On the other hand, the legal ramifications down the road will be problematic.

    Maybe if OWS channels their energy towards this issue specifically, they might affect some change.

    • I disagree that “the legal ramifications down the road will be problematic”. The concept of adverse posession (the posession of property which you do not actually own) is a old one that owes its roots to old English law. In NYS adverse possession law has been quantified in statute and case law. The basic law is that you have to be in “open and notorious possession” of the property for twenty years in order to become the owner of the property. There is plenty of time for the banks to step in here if they so desire. In the meantime, someone has moved in, is fixing the home up, and making necessary repairs, all things which the bank had neither the time or the inclination to do. This isn’t some perversion of property law, its actually exactly how the law is supposed to work. You can move onto property and behave as if it is yours at your own risk, and the true owner has plenty of time to assert their rights before the property is lost forever.

      • “the true owner has plenty of time to assert their rights”

        In many cases, I don’t know about this one, banks have already tried to “assert their rights” but have failed due to permanently broken chains of mortgage assignment (intentional to cover up fraud). MERS worked in the short term but we are now in the long term where state courts are referring back to centuries-old black letter law that absolutely mandates a continuous chain of assignment to prove ownership. No amount of time can fix that unless state property laws are broken.

        ***Half Peak Comps Euroding***

  • The REAL definition of God’s work. Big up to Charles Barron!

    ***Half Peak Comps Euroding***

  • While ENY has the largest number of city foreclosures (according to an earlier Brownstoner story), it’s also the home of the very successful home-building and -buying Nehemiah program, which betwen the late 1980s and early 2000s put homes on many of the wide swaths of undeveloped land in the area.

  • I’m in favor of whatever gets the housing market moving. Once that happens the stock market will really rally. Maybe we will have OWS scum to thank for that and, of course, that awesome figure Charles Barron too.

    • “I’m in favor of whatever gets the housing market moving.”

      Thought it was already moving. Uh huh. Gotcha!

      You mean dumping shadow inventory, reversal of sanctioned Enron/mark2fantasy accounting fraud, Eurozone collapse, bank runs and worldwide debt write downs? That’s what it’ll take to find bottom. Sure you ready for that? Are you selling your brownstone or what? (I offer four hun fitty grand!)

      ***Half Peak Comps Euroding***

  • I’m in favor of whatever gets the housing market moving. Once that happens the stock market will really rally. Maybe we will have OWS scum to thank for that and, of course, that awesome figure Charles Barron too.

  • BHO, in case you haven’t noticed, the housing market here in NYC is quite strong. It’s the rest of the country where the problems exist and that are holding back the industry.

    Have you found anything yet or are you still going to remain homeless??? Did you miss that bottom that was so fleeting????


  • LOL, more stupidity. Do you think if the banks failed you’d still have a job??


  • BHO, why don’t you come to the party on the 15th. bring a gift. See the Forum for details.

  • The bottom line here is that this is a good gesture and it gets the Occupy movement some fantastic goodwill. I don’t expect that this is the business that the movement is planning to get into – they’re raising the massive foreclosure problem and putting a personal face on it. If they succeed in doing this, then Occupy has succeeded. I don’t think we should read into this much more than that.

  • Clearly more needs to be done to get these foreclosed properties rehabbed and occupied bycaring residents for the good of the whole neighborhood. I think ENY is one of the neighborhoods included in the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 Buyer Assistance Program that grants *forgiveable* no-interest loans up to $80,000 for buyers that will purchase and reside in foreclosed and vacant properties. Of course, banks need to make these properties available for sale before this program becomes an option.

  • A family will no longer be homeless. A derelict home will be rebuilt. A community eyesore will be removed. Best news I’ve heard today.

  • Don’t preach to me about it. The bank has plenty of time to do whatever they please and that’s exactly what I meant by the p[ossibility that “the legal ramifications down the road will be problematic.”

    Lots of risk in what’s going on here.But hey, this is the City of Entitlements.

    read my whole post.before you jump on one phrase, lcarnett

    • I did read your entire post and chose to disagree with your statement.

      If the bank is intent upon getting the property back they have up to twenty years to figure out how to do it. If the property owners want to own the property, they have a long, hard slog before title is theirs, but in the meantime they have a roof over their heads as a result of their sweat equity. Doesn’t seem like that’s a bad outcome for anyone.

      Didn’t realize that my rights as a citizen of the City of Entitlements didn’t extend to disagreeing with you…

  • 040 is really on a tear. These are the same folks that kept Mary Ward from being evicted from her home in Bed Stuy. Then they invited OWS. From what I hear, the neighbors in both places were happy to see them.

  • If the house is being occupied by squatters, how would the bank ever sell it?

    Squatters have special protections after posession of 30 days.

    You would need to know the name of who the squatters are (good luck) and go to housing court to get posession. Not attractive to investors to say the least.

    So the more adverse posession of foreclosed homes, the smaller the recoveries, larger the writeoffs and the longer the housing crisis due to not enough bank capital to fully mark down these properties.

    btw full legal adverse posession in NY is 10 years.