Flint threatens to take away 8,000 families' homes for failure to pay bills for poisoned water


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/05/05/snyder-and-me.html


#2

seems to me that if you are not provided potable water, then there is nothing to pay for.


#3

Yes. I know US law will be different, but if the product (water) is not fit for purpose, why should anyone pay for it? The people of Flint should have the right to a usable replacement or a refund.


#4

Actually, Cory, there isn’t an emergency manager running Flint any more. The city is back in control as long as the Receivership Transition Advisory Board approves. All the emergency managers happened to be black, by the way.


#5

Evicting 8000 homes seems like a good way to drop property value to near nothing and lead the city in to an even worse death spiral. I can’t imagine many people are moving to Flint lately. This is a stupid threat. How can any elected official back this?


#6

I believe they had subsidies for a time which they have decided to end even though the water is still poison.

edit to add this little tidbit:
Flint residents paid the highest water rates in America, even as their water was tainted with lead, according to a national study released in February 2016 by the public interest group Food and Water Watch.


#7

Edit: Posted a correction further down!

The issue is also a bit more complex as far as i understand. If a homeowner in Flint decided to just not use the city’s water at all they could be in danger of having their kids taken away because local regulations state that family homes must have running water. So the city is effectively forcing low income families to keep their poisoned water running to not have their kids taken away but they can’t actually use the water and still need to pay for the privilege of not using it.


#8

It’s the American way!!


#9

Then some company or rich people can buy up the land and build something that no one wants.


#10

I could be wrong, but I don’t think the city can foreclose on a lein. They can only claim a share of proceeds when the home is sold. I don’t think anyone will be evicted.


#11

Thank you!


#12

A lein can bring a lot of financial difficulty on a family that is already struggling as it shows up on your credit report. But even if they didn’t care about their credit it would still have a psychological impact on these families. They haven’t done anything wrong and now the city is placing a lein against them? Fuck the mayor and the water company


#13

Is it just me, or does Flint appear to others like a model city for fascist governance? First the governor-installed emergency manager (seems to be on his way out, though), recently that thing with the community meeting in a church where people were arrested for swearing, and so on…


#14

The war in Afghanistan is costing US taxpayers $4 million per HOUR. I’m so sick of excessive military spending when there are people in this country who can’t even be provided with drinking water… and are being threatened for not paying the bill!


#15

I wouldn’t be surprised if you are correct, as a matter of law; but this entire story suggests that the hapless protagonists are not in the “receives the benefit of the letter of the law” user group.


#16

Can’t they do a class action lawsuit for this? This is objectively insane!


#17

I agree, but they’re not evicted.


#18

Now look pal, lead ain’t cheap.


#19

It does sound like a sort of Erin Brockovich story, but it seems to me the big difference is that in this case the only people to go after are a flat-broke municipality rather than a corporation with deep pockets, such that lawyers would be reluctant to bite. Or perhaps that’s being too simplistic.


#20

Because politicians don’t work for their constituents. They work for their campaign donors. Granted Rick Snyder and his buddies - who destroyed the town by selling the only water supply to blood sucking vultures and then covered their own asses for a while by removing the local elected officials who might turn on them and installing viceroys - are among the more brazenly evil. But let’s not kid ourselves, this kind of pump and dump shakedown happens across the US by politicians in the pockets of investors.