Posted by Terry Alexander - email
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A web site, encouraging people to break in to vacant foreclosed homes and take up residence, is causing plenty of controversy in the neighborhoods where these homes are located.
The creators, claim banks are holding foreclosed homes hostage from people who could use them. The site claims to be satirical in nature and is not actually advocating people move into vacant homes. But that is not the impression you get from the brains behind the operation.
When asked directly if his web site, squat-2-own is just a joke with a message, Marlon Kautz is careful with his words.
"I would never presume to tell anybody to go and break the law specifically," said Kautz, "but I think that if people are told about the situation in general they can look around and see what needs to be done."
But there is nothing general about his web site. It specifically lists the addresses of foreclosed homes and specifically instructs people how to break in the homes and begin living there.
The web site features a home on Peyton Avenue, which doesn't look much like a foreclosed home, the grass is cut and the paint is not chipping. But the websites organizers say that if it remains foreclosed it won't stay this way for very long.
"Yes, it does look nice right now, but because its been foreclosed on it won't stay that nice for long." said Kautz.
Neighbors tell us, no one was lived there for more than three months. However Kautz believes advocating a little lawlessness now, could lead to solutions down the road.
"We are certainly willing to take legal risks to bring this issue to the public attention because we think it is a really urgent one." he said.
At this point Kautz is not aware of anyone who has taken his groups suggestion to find a foreclosed home to squat in.