The fact is, it’s obvious by now that the free market was not going to correct itself to remedy this issue.
Some of the vacant homes represent foreclosures, or properties in which the owners have simply walked away, leaving an often-unsuspecting bank holding the title.
Chip Holmes, Eighth Ward member of the Common Council and a financial adviser, told The Daily Star that, in such situations, banks don’t realize they own the properties, which are managed by servicing companies, and purchase offers are rejected.
And given the rents that some landlords are able to charge students on a per-semester basis, what free-market inducement could compel a landlord to rent to regular folks instead?
Neither the private sector nor the public sector always has all the answers. But in this instance, a government solution seems to be a good fit. We’re glad to see this project moving forward, and we applaud those who made it possible.