What does Mary Gai know that the rest of America doesn’t?
The veteran real estate broker — a self-described “political junkie” who took economics courses in college — has watched banks across the country drown in declining assets. It’s worse in places like Florida than here, but Mary knows we’re not immune.
While bankers dither — paralyzed by indecision — Mary has a solution.
She proposes that in exchange for receiving bailout bucks, banks should turn over a portion of their vacant, foreclosed property to people.
Not just any people, mind you, but the ever-growing number of unemployed and underemployed Americans. They’ll renovate those homes using green technology, make them handicap-accessible, then turn them over for use by “the greater good.”
The greater good, Mary says, includes sick, disabled and elderly Americans. Some homes could be shared by people with specific ailments, like diabetes. That could centralize — and improve — health care.
Others could go to the elderly. Looking down the pike, Mary sees that her (my) generation of baby boomers is “ready to clog up the system.”
Mary has already formed an organization, PUSH (People United to Secure Housing). She’s started a website. Now she wants to spread the word.
Congressman Jim Himes showed interest, she says, but lately “seems to be dragging his feet.” Gazillionaire former McCain economics advisor Steve Forbes told Mary, “I think you’re right,” though he has not offered to help.
“I think right now people are overwhelmed,” Mary says.
She’s looking for a champion. “When people buy a home, it stimulates so many parts of the economy: brokers, attorneys, paint companies, painters, you name it,” she says. “PUSH provides work, promotes business, and stimulates the real estate market by removing vacant inventory.”
In the words of the classic vaudeville routine: “It couldn’t hoit.”