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I’m not of the mindset that people shouldn’t buy foreclosure properties, that they shouldn’t move into abandoned houses, that the ghosts of homeowners past are lurking around.

Forget that. It’s better to do something—-anything—-with a property than let it fall apart or turn into a drughouse.

NPR has a story out today about a Detroit couple that is trying to recruit artists to come into their neighborhood, buy homes, create a little colony, and revitalize the place. In their city, that’s not terribly expensive: The median home price is $10,000. Cleveland and Gary aren’t much better.

That’s a pretty longterm solution. But what about a quicker fix? There’s been constant speculation about how President Obama can revive the arts. But people are more focused on how he’s going to revive the housing market.

Combine the two issues! Put artists in houses. Let them do installation projects and live there.  Surely this will not work for the hundreds of thousands of abandoned abodes in the country. But in the right targeted urban communities, a program could keep out squatters and keep up appearances. That helps property values and helps keep communities strong…not to mention pretty.