As I was reading my morning paper, this headline jumped off the front page at me: Outside Buyers Drawn to Detroit's Foreclosed Homes, which pointed out that nationwide, many foreclosed homes are on the market for less than $10,000; some for as little as $1.
It occurs to me that even if these houses were investment properties, they had renters at one time.
The practical Catholic Gentleman, or even the Knights of Columbus as a whole, could make money off of this in a very charitable way, by following the Habitat for Humanity model.
Buy a house at foreclosure prices. Find the family who lived there last. Offer to sell it back to them at twice the foreclosure price, 0% interest, payments limited to 30% of income and adjustable based on job changes, in return for sweat equity of 460 hours a year (basically, Saturdays) to improve the property.
Lather, rinse, repeat.....