Activists from a coalition of anti-poverty groups are calling for a moratorium on foreclosures and an increase in affordable housing for homeless people in the Twin Cities.
The Minnesota Poor People's Campaign spent the weekend taking over empty houses and giving them to families in need of shelter. The group is also calling for a moratorium on sheriffs sales and evictions from foreclosed properties.
Lead organizer Cheri Honkala says homeless families cannot wait for housing. She says it makes sense to place them into homes made vacant by the foreclosure crisis.
"We think the best way to deal with homelessness is to put them into housing," said Honkala. "Homeless people are homeless, because they have either been foreclosed, or they can't afford high rents, so HUD properties are supposed to be available first to homeless people."
Honkala says the vacant properties they selected are owned by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. She says the families will remain in the vacant homes until affordable housing is made available.