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#OccupyHomes National Day of Action: The Actual Hygiene and Safety Crisis With Foreclosed Homes

National Day of Action: The Actual Hygiene and Safety Crisis With Foreclosed Homes

Today is National Day of Action on Foreclosures.  Occupy Our Homes has created a list events at their site here.
Quick friendly reminder, concerning neighborhood hygiene.  One generic argument cities used for breaking up Occupy encampments was the idea of hygiene and safety.  If only they showed the same concern for foreclosed homes!
Want an example?  In 2007, there was a West Nile virus outbreak in the Bakersfield area of Kern County, California. This was unanticipated by experts, as the weather was dry and hot in that area. Since the logical place where the mosquitoes would come from, the Kern River, was mostly dry, researchers couldn’t find where the mosquitoes were breeding at first.
The culprit turned out to be foreclosed homes. A Center for Disease Control report found that the mosquitoes carrying the virus were coming from “an extensive number of green or neglected pools… The likely reasons for neglected pools are the adjustable rate mortgage and associated housing crises of Kern County and throughout California, which have led to increased…home abandonment.” The Governor had to appropriate an emergency $6.2 million to fight these new mosquitoes breeding in foreclosed pools.  Here’s an aerial map from the CDC:

Center for Disease Control:
Careful examination of service requests for mosquito control made to the Kern Mosquito and Vector Control District (KMVCD) and an aerial survey of Bakersfield showed an extensive number of green or neglected pools, most of which were producing mosquitoes. The likely reasons for neglected pools are the adjustable rate mortgage and associated housing crises in Kern County and throughout California, which have led to increased house sales, notices of delinquency of payment, declarations of bankruptcy and home abandonment. Kern County was especially affected (Figure 1), with a 300% increase in notice of delinquency in the spring quarter of 2007 compared with that of 2006. Associated with home abandonment was the expanding number of neglected swimming pools, Jacuzzis (hot tubs), and ornamental ponds.

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