Always trying to grasp the housing meltdown in the US by putting the numbers on a local level.

Today, there are over 19 million vacant homes in the country.

Here’s how to size that up on a local level.

Imagine all the houses in 8 of the former Confederate States empty.

Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, and  Tennessee.

Or all the houses in these 16 states abandoned and empty.

Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas with half a million left over. Or, we could throw in New Hampshire to make it 17 states.

While we’re imagining 17 empty states and 19 million empty houses, imagine fixing the problems leading up to the crisis.