Friday, September 04, 2009

Reuse, Recycle, Reduce ... Foreclose

The New York Times’ most recent “Home” section--scanning it for decorating tips is truly one of the high points of our Thursday evenings--offered a profile, with very nice color pictures, of Dan Phillips. the jack-of-all-trades who uses trash as building material to construct low-income housing up in Huntsville (he’s built 14 such houses so far). Mr. Phillips strikes us as an interesting character pursuing a worthy endeavor, so we were distressed to learn from the Times’ story that the market for homes built with cast-off studs and scavenged wine corks (for flooring) apparently is very similar to the market for McMansions built with lumberyard timber and purchased by subprime buyers:
While the homes are intended for low-income individuals, some of the original buyers could not hold on to them. To Mr. Phillips’s disappointment, half of the homes he has built have been lost to foreclosure — the payments ranged from $99 to $300 a month.
Some of those people simply disappeared, leaving the properties distressingly dirty and in disrepair. “You can put someone in a new home but you can’t give them a new mindset,” Mr. Phillips said.
The good news, though, is that Mr. Phillips’s houses apparently have acquired some cachet and, according to the Times, have “resold quickly to more-affluent buyers.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a revelatory insight in the phrase "where you stay at?"