The councilor says that the solution lies in evicting these people whose activities include selling drugs and pirated material. The problem is that even if the police know that illegal activities are taking place inside a home, they cannot act without a warrant, which must be requested by the owner. But often the owner is a bank that evicted the previous dwellers for defaulting on their payments. And so the paperwork process stretches out, favoring impunity for the alleged criminals.
The municipal police do not have a list of occupied homes or those that get used for illegal activities. Police officers thus depend on a neighbor complaining about the situation. Now the law enforcement officers await a court's permission to go ahead with the evictions. But if the owner is a bank, we have more problems because they are not in as much of a rush as an individual owner.
Banks know they are not going to sell the property in the short term, and they don't live in it, either, so time frames are longer," explain the same sources. Last month, Barcelona Mayor Xavier Trias announced sanctions for banks that maintain vacant homes in areas with a high demand for housing. Meanwhile, the spokesman for the Madrid Socialists, Jaime Lissavetzky, has suggested that Mayor Ana Botella reach deals with the banks, especially those which received public funding, so that their empty units may be included in the city's stock of low-rent public housing.
The city could offer guarantees against defaults, and eliminate property tax on these homes. According to the government delegate in the capital who is responsible for law and order, Cristina Cifuentes, saw a 2.
Cifuentes said that residents are "satisfied" because "the problem of crime is under control, although we will continue to work to ensure it does not rise, but that it continues to fall.
Meanwhile, a colleague of his picked up a switchblade - just to sharpen it, apparently. But I can also sell them for around 1, euros. Mortgage and rent defaults caused by the economic crisis have meant that many people were evicted and left without their homes, leading to a notable increase of vacant apartments. This in turn has led to a spike in illegal occupation: homeless people are taking advantage of the "availability" of these homes, but how to know which properties are really uninhabited, to avoid additional trouble?
Organized gangs can provide the answer to that, in exchange for a certain amount of money. These criminal organizations do not hold sway over an entire region; instead, they are small groups who wield their power at the neighborhood level. They have their rates: to euros to unlock an empty home; to euros to rent it out, and 1, to 2, euros to "purchase" one.
These lower-income areas see the largest concentrations of unoccupied homes and subsidized housing in the city. According to figures from the National Statistics Institute, there are around , empty homes in the capital.
But there is no data on the number of housing units which are illegally occupied. Two friends in their twenties, Antonio and Paco, are tinkering around absent-mindedly under the hood of a car. They don't look it, but they are part of a neighborhood gang that occupies bank-owned properties and "sells" them to squatters.
Others will charge you 2, Once the apartment has been occupied, the only thing the police can do is take down the personal information of the new dwellers to get the legal process underway, since evictions can only be mandated by a judge. To Paco, the logic behind their business is very simple. They will not have to pay building maintenance costs and maybe after a few months the bank will decide to let them rent it for euros a month in order to at least make something.
So they will end up saving a lot of cash. Even so, Prado says that for the last four years neighborhood associations have been reporting the activities of these organized gangs without anything being done about it. Last time was October 30, when the United Left Municipal Group took the complaint to the plenary session of city council.
The Madrid Department of Housing, which runs the subsidized housing corporation Ivima, notes that it spends 5. It also claims that an investigation is underway to ascertain whether illegal occupations are being carried out by organized gangs.
Juan Luis Camarero, spokesman for the Neighborhood Association of Alto de San Isidro, feels that "the main security measure to take is not increased surveillance, but awarding empty homes faster. It's the only way. Occupations happen just a few days after an eviction. The Ivima walls up the doors, but [gangs] break in quite easily using a disk saw.
While some undocumented immigrants might be able to simply purchase a home with cash, most use a little-known investment tool known as an ITIN mortgage. An ITIN is an individual tax identification number and was created as an alternative to a Social Security Number so that foreign nationals who owned businesses or property in the US could pay taxes on those assets.
But undocumented immigrants can also acquire an ITIN and are then able to open bank accounts, pay income tax—and qualify for a mortgage on a home. There are legal and financial obstacles to overcome but home ownership for undocumented workers is certainly a real possibility. The applicant will need to give his or her name, address, country of citizenship, date of birth, place of birth and signature.
Within six weeks, the applicant should receive their 9-digit ITIN. These loans can be accessed by undocumented immigrants and are available from companies and banks across the US. Because of the extra risk involved, most ITIN loans will require that you make a higher-than-average down payment in cash.
The down payment will often be between 15 and 20 percent and could go as high as 30 percent. In addition, the borrower will also probably be asked to provide some additional documentation, including the following:.
ITIN mortgages are lesser-known lending practices that many undocumented immigrants use to purchase a home. In practical terms, an ITIN mortgage is almost identical to a standard mortgage. You agree to take on the loan at a certain rate of interest and make monthly payments. The loan is against the value of your home, which means that the lender has the ability to repossess it if you fail to make payments. You can find some of these companies pretty easily by searching the internet.
Another good option might be a smaller, local bank or credit union. Local banks and credit unions often have more competitive rates than their larger corporate cousins. Some credit unions might also have lending programs specifically tailored to immigrant borrowers.
Generally, an ITIN mortgage will require a 20 percent down payment and will be a year fixed-rate mortgage. There will be no penalties for paying off the loan early.