Thursday, February 26, 2009

Abandoned Homes, Troubled Neighborhoods, and Foreclosures

This photo (hat tip Zillow) is the World Press Photo of 2008:

foreclosure world-photo

According to jury chair MaryAnne Golon:


The strength of the picture is in its opposites. It’s a double entendre. It looks like a classic conflict photograph, but it is simply the eviction of people from a house following foreclosure. Now war in its classic sense is coming into people’s houses because they can’t pay their mortgages.

That’s an interesting take, but it’s not what’s going on. The original caption for the photo says:

When Detective Cole finds a home that is already abandoned or vacant, he enters with his weapon drawn, to guard against squatters.

Squatters in abandoned homes are a much bigger risk than former owners and tenants, and abandoned homes are a major detriment to neighborhoods (more about that here). But, it’s not quite as dramatic as imagining warfare between the state and people who have lost their homes.

The photo is part of a great series you can see here.