Could Homesteading Work in Hartford?

This Sunday on Face the State we are joined by the president of the National Urban League, Marc Morial.  Morial was in Hartford this week to talk with the Metro Hartford Alliance about ways to improve cities.   Hartford has lost 50,000 people in the past 50 years, a stunning figure, but has the potential to attract thousands of new residents.     One idea Morial would like to see implemented here is homesteading.   

When we think blight in Hartford, buildings like the hideous Capitol West instantly come to mind. 

But the truth is,  in every neighborhood in the city there are abandoned homes, from the West End to downtown.   They might be foreclosed properties, or buildings owned by people who just don’t care.   Many of these are architectural gems, with tons of hidden potential.  

During our taping, Morial explains how homesteading would work.  Essentially, people buy a home at a low cost, but must agree to fix them up and live in them.    It’s an idea that has worked elsewhere, and should be given an opportunity to succeed in Hartford. 

By the way, that beautiful shot of the glimmering skyline at the top of this story?   There are two basically abandoned buildings in the foreground, just steps from Bushnell Park and City Hall.   For years they feature boarded up windows, graffiti, and a whole lot of potential.   Perfect candidates for homesteading.

You can watch the entire interview with Marc Morial, this Sunday morning at 11, only on Channel 3.

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