Based upon a 2011 report published by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), non-seasonal vacant properties have increased. The study says, “[These] properties have increased 51 percent nationally from nearly 7 million in 2000 to 10 million in April 2010, with 10 states seeing increases of 70 percent or more. High foreclosure rates have contributed to the additional vacancies.”
Since many Americans have defined the “American Dream” as owning a home, the high number of foreclosures has led to a new level of political consciousness about wealth and power in the United States. This is most evident in the message about growing economic inequality conveyed by Occupy protesters, a movement which began in lower Manhattan on September 17, 2010 and quickly spread across the nation and eventually the globe. Moreover, many critics believe the banks should be held accountable for actions they took that led to the U.S housing crisis, which began to crumble in 2008.
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