The estates of wealthy financial industry executives will be opened to the victims of the foreclosure crisis, the office of President elect Barack Obama announced today.
"Large estates such as the Boston home of ex-Freddie Mac CEO Richard Syron will be made available to build encampments for displaced families" Obama Staff Director John Polestra told reporters.
"Syron's property is spacious, has accessible transportation options, and adequate infrastructure to support several hundred people. Richard Syron made about $20 million while his customers became victims and lost everything. His property and others like his will be ground zero for those victims to re-build their lives" Polestra said.
An accompanying report released by the Obama transition team estimates 1000 families will be temporarily housed in tent encampments in the Boston area by summer 2009. Similar displacements are expected around the country, and the estates of wealthy financial industry tycoons such as Syron's are being eyed as ideal locations to erect temporary housing.
"These manorly sites are great locations for erecting such encampments and better than parks or stadiums for example" Polestra said. "They are more private and secure, have utilities spread about, and will provide a quiet backyard type atmosphere for the families. We think this is a great solution, the homeless victims get some retribution from the millionaire profiteer."
In addition to continuing regular maintenance such as mowing lawns and trimming tree branches, the affluent land owners will be expected to provide basic services such as electricity, water, and road access including snow clearance. Local law enforcement and national guardsmen will provide security. Several charity organizations will provide administration and food service.
Military and stockpiled international disaster relief supplies will be used to jump start camp construction. However the stay for families is hoped to be very short as better accommodations become available in converted box stores such as closed-down Circuit City locations.
In a nod to post-feudal sensibilities, the landowners won't be using their mansions on site while the homeless families occupy the surrounding grounds. No comment was available from Mr Syron.