Houston: One Man's Misfortune . . .

One Man's Misfortune . . .

With Houston's oil-based economy mired in depression, foreclosures on residential properties have been running at more than 2,000 a month. Now some of those abandoned eyesores are being put to good use -- as public housing.

The local housing authority has purchased 121 foreclosed houses for an average of $37,000 apiece, and is renting them to low-income tenants for as little as $231 a month. Skeptics have been won over by its tight standards: renters must take an 18-hour handyman's training course so they can keep up the houses.

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