Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Anybody home?

Do you think that this home fell victim to foreclosure? I wonder what has become of the people who once lived there? I'll just bet, that this home could be a case in study of catabolic collapse, just as the neighborhood it is in, just as the city and state, all represent stages of this process.

I'd like to suggest, that such homes as the one shown above (click to make larger), as being not common, in the Detroit inner city neighborhoods. Certainly, this house has seen some upkeep throughout the years, however, what are the chances of it being sold (no for sale signs could be found), before it takes on stages of the ones pictured down below? I would suspect, not long... My friend Nudge, is looking for a new home, what would be her first, do you suppose that someone like her would be interested in this property, if it were selling for less than $10,000? $5,000? Many of them are...

What about the home that is pictured at the bottom? This does have a "for sale" sign in the yard and is only blocks away from the houses pictured above. Again, there are more structures like those than the ones actually being lived in and the very few of the ones like the one pictured atop. I would estimate that almost half of the abandoned homes viewed during the picture shoot, showed signs
of fire. I can't image, how busy the fire department around there must be these days... What happens when the resources that make that service available become so depleted, that it must cut back, or be eliminated altogether? Just as it was very likely, the resources of the homeowner of the above home became so depleted, they could no longer afford the upkeep and were likely foreclosed upon? This is the idea of "catabolic collapse". This is a vicious cycle we're talking about here and unless resource depletion (jobs lost) can be stopped, driving down the maintenance costs below that what production (jobs created) can meet, then this catabolic process will end. I just cannot see this as a possibility at this time, here. However, there will very likely be periods of partial recovery, (maybe the next four years?), the house at the very top, may be bought, the maintenance covered for awhile until the next "slide" is encountered...


Nudge said...

Hi Yooper: Thanks for the mention about the house hunting, but in all truth the house is pretty secondary to the stable job. Without the job, the house is completely untenable.

There is also the matter of where the house is located. Do I need to seriously worry about the doors, windows, wiring, and plumbing all being stripped while I'm at work that day? Are there neighbors present? Do they give a shit? Will they keep an eye on both their garden and mine?

It seems to take a lot of things to make a viable community.

Great stuff with this collapse .. please keep it coming.

FARfetched said...

Fire department? D'you think they would even bother to respond in some of those "neighbor"hoods? What's one more (less, actually) abandoned house to them?

I thought the "this house is being watched" sign was amusing. Who's watching, and from where? More questions than answers, sure.

Nudge, I think the people who actually live in those areas are committed to them — they might leave if they could, but if Detroitblogger John isn't fudging, they're making the best of the situation. Gaining their trust might be the hard part, though. The installation artists probably said it best: if they like what you're doing, they won't make it go away.

yooper said...

Hello Nudge! "Without the job, the house is completely untenable." Heh! heh! You catch on quick! I suppose that would be "catabolic collapse" in a nutshell.

I've been studying catabolic collapse for a couple years now. Rest assured, that theme will run through out the series.

Hey Far! I suppose, you're right depending on where the fire is, they might not respond. There were strings of homes that had been burnt, any abandoned home that might be standing among burnt ones might not get responed to. Suppose they're keeping track or have that mapped out? The house on the bottom, was definitely put out as it appears the neighbor still lives next door and the whole structure didn't burn to the ground...

Heh, heh, that sign is "absolutely funny" just like the one story in detroitblog, eh?

materials said...
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Atomicat said...

The fire departments do respond. And sometimes while they are fighting a fire they are shot at.

A fire builds up really quickly and by the time you're there the house is often a loss. Maybe a kitchen fire that stays in the kitchen will result in smoke damage.

If you have a rental property, 70% of Detroiters are renters. And you know you cannot get it sold because it's a dump, the scam thing to do as reported in the papers is to set it on fire as the owner yourself. This has been done and it's hard to say how many of these were just burnt by the owners who couldn't move it.

Also squatters, will use space heaters or some unsafe method to heat the place, and that will result in a fire.

A friend talking to an older Detroit Firefighter said to him, "why do you do it? Why fight fires when you may even be shot at while doing your job?" The guy said, "hey I have a lot of years in and hope to retire, I'm to old now to quit." After a while you can get locked into any job, even a bad one. The inertia of the job and the years on it, and yearning for retirement locks people in.

yooper said...

You bet Greg! I suppose there are many "locked in" with Detroit. Do you suppose, that as those people who find themselves in this situation retire, or finally move, or die will be replaced?

Those that do have an invested interest are becoming "far and few" between. That, and maybe that alone may play the biggest part in Detroit's decline? That process is called, "Catabolic Collapse".