- American Home Mortgage Servicing
- Aurora Loan Services
- Bank of America
- Deutsche Bank
- Fannie Mae
- Federal Reserve
- Freddie Mac
- JP Morgan Chase
- Litton Loan Servicing
- MetLife Home Loans
- Nationstar Mortgage
- Ocwen Loan Servicing
- Other/Not Listed
- People with Disabilities
- PHH Mortgage
- PNC Bank/National City Mortgage
- Saxon Mortgage
- Senior Citizens
- Stage: Eviction Defense
- Stage: Foreclosure
- Stage: In Default
- Stage: Post Eviction
- Stage: Underwater
- US Bank
- Washington Mutual
- Wells Fargo
Tell policymakers: The BeltLine should be for ALL AtlantansWe are in crisis. Atlanta housing costs are on the rise and we are losing affordable units at a staggering rate. Between 2010 and 2014 Atlanta lost 5,300 low cost rental units. Meanwhile, 32,000 people are on the waiting list for public housing. To solve this crisis, we must act now to increase affordable housing supply and protect low-income homeowners and renters. The Atlanta BeltLine was supposed to help with this. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. is a public private partnership launched in 2005. The BeltLine, and its public sector partners and supporters -- particularly the City of Atlanta and Fulton county -- promised that 5,600 affordable units would be built as a part of the project. But almost halfway through its completion, fewer than 1,000 units have been built. Meanwhile, experts estimate that there is need for 10,400 affordable units in the Atlanta BeltLine area alone in the next decade. Not only has the BeltLine failed to build affordable housing, but it has also directly caused housing values near it to rise between 18 percent and 27 percent more than elsewhere in the city. These effects are especially foreboding on the Southside where low-income black communities face the encroaching threat of mass displacement from Beltline development plans that have not even broken ground yet. Neighborhoods along the southwest segment of the BeltLine, which includes Adair Park, Pittsburgh, Mechanicsville, and Westview, saw median sale prices jump 68 percent from 2011 to 2015! With prices on the rise, existing residents will be pushed out. In the Old Fourth Ward where a section of the BeltLine has been completed, we have already seen the destructive reality of mass displacement. The Housing Justice League of Atlanta recently completed a yearlong research project on the human impact of the Atlanta BeltLine, speaking with residents about what this context means for them. Since then we have launched a campaign to turn our recommendations into reality. Pledge your support to the Housing Justice League’s BeltLine for All campaign and tell policymakers you support policies that will ensure development without displacement. Atlanta’s southside communities are fighting for a say in the development process in order to improve and preserve what is best in their communities and stay in the areas they know and love. These neighborhoods have seen broken promises and discriminatory divestment for decades. Recent examples include bypassing community concerns to push through Arthur Blank’s Mercedes Benz Stadium and handing over the redevelopment of Turner Field to Georgia State University and Carter Development without a fair contract with the community in place. “It is time to break this cycle: Communities on the Southside deserve to be a part of the process to shape and determine the neighborhoods where we live,” says Alison Johnson, a Peoplestown resident. Nia Brown, a young adult born and raised in Peoplestown questions the inequitable development process which is currently pushing people out: “I just feel like, why should we have to move outside of our community so that they can make our community better?” Equitability requires low-income residents to be the focus of the project, not an afterthought. The BeltLine development is nearly half done, and its legacy is still up in the air. We need Development not Displacement. It is unconscionable for a city with resources as great as Atlanta’s to stand by and allow the continued extraction of wealth from historically marginalized communities. The City must prioritize human rights and stop funding destructive mega developments with our tax dollars. Renters and low-income homeowners must receive more legal protections and support. We can move forward together and build more just and livable communities. We can heed the warning call of already gentrifying communities to do better for the people living there now and build a BeltLine for All. Gentrification is not inevitable. It is a matter of political will and taking a stand for housing justice. Will you stand with us?
Hands Off City Land!According to Atlanta Housing Authority(AHA), land currently valued at $138 million could be sold for a mere $17 million under a secret deal that favors The Integral Group and was arranged by previous AHA leadership. The lawsuit contends the arrangement was never formally approved by the AHA board and runs counter to AHA’s mission, HUD regulations and Georgia law and Constitution. Egbert Perry, CEO of The Integral Group, has argued his company is entitled to the windfall. According to a March 10, 2017 article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Perry said the authority owes him public land at bargain-basement prices because of value he helped create. But Robert Rumley, chairman of the AHA Board of Commissioners, says the increased, current land values result more from the market demand driven by the national trend to live in close-in communities and from massive public investments in amenities such as the Atlanta BeltLine, than from previous development efforts undertaken years ago. “While The Integral Group and previous AHA leadership played a vital role in alleviating concentrations of poverty, current market values have more to do with market trends and where people choose to live,” said Rumley. “AHA cannot and will not relinquish more than $100 million in land just because a private developer thinks he is entitled.” Atlanta is in the midst of a historic affordable housing crisis. We rank #1 in income immobility and the gap between rich and poor is widening every year. With rents increasing along even the unfinished section of the Beltline (in some areas as high as 53%) we simply can't allow a rich developer to steal land in an illegal acquisition just so he can make a quick buck at the expense of everyone else in our communities. .
Atlanta's Renter's State Of Emergency #RenterCrisisATLAtlanta is in a renter’s state of emergency. How many of us have engaged in or overheard conversations with folks in our city about the rising rents and rapidly changing face of our city? Development doesn’t have to be a bad word but what we are seeing in Atlanta right now is the kind of development and wealth extraction that will leave Atlanta totally unaffordable for low and moderate income people. In just a few short years the Old Fourth Ward, home of Dr. King, went from affordable to one of the most expensive places to find new housing in the city, we simply can’t afford this kind of status quo development that leaves renters and low income people behind. Some of the report’s findings include: *Since 2012 Atlanta has lost 5% of its affordable housing every year *95% of Apartments built since 2012 have been considered luxury * 72% of Atlanta neighborhoods are considered gentrified or gentrifying * More than 53% of all renters in the city pay more than 30% of their income on housing, yet many landlords require proof that tenant income exceeds 3x rent We need a movement to build a city that works for everyone, and the release of this report will be the launch of a campaign to push the City and County to begin reigning in unchecked development. The campaign will also focus on renter’s rights, as Atlanta is several decades behind other cities of its size. We hope we count on your solidarity! Real full report here: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/oohatl/pages/53/attachments/original/1468328705/RSOE.pdf?1468328705 Sumary page: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/oohatl/pages/53/attachments/original/1468329040/CDPR.pdf?1468329040
PHILADELPHIA CITY COUNCIL: PUT MORE MONEY IN THE HOUSING TRUST FUNDAfter years of population decline, Philadelphia is once again becoming a more desirable place to live. There is increased development in many neighborhoods which results in rising property values and cost of living. While this development can improve our neighborhoods, these changes have already forced too many people out of their communities. City Council needs to introduce legislation that will grow the resources our city needs for affordable, accessible housing and green space so both renters and homeowners can stay in the neighborhoods we call home. As the housing market rebounds the effects of gentrification are displacing long-term residents. There is increased development in many neighborhoods which results in rising property values and cost of living. The overwhelming majority (77%) of new market rate housing built in the past six years is located in portions of North Philadelphia, South Philadelphia, and West Philadelphia. In these neighborhoods, rising housing costs coupled with stagnant or declining household incomes are straining low-income families’ ability to stay in their homes. The cost for Philadelphia’s families in these gentrifying neighborhoods is real. In North, South and West Philadelphia: 50% of renter households are “housing cost burdened” paying more than they can afford on rent; over 30% of homeowners are also spending too much of their income on housing. Displacement due to rising housing costs is also threatening the diversity of our neighborhoods. In North, South and West Philadelphia, the African American population has dropped 22-29% since 2000. Long-term residents are forced to move away from jobs and social networks. Neighborhood-serving businesses are forced to close as commercial rents increase, leaving many residents without access to basic services and local living-wage jobs. Community gardens and farms, sources of affordable nutrition and places where people gather have also been uprooted. City government must take action to curb the displacement that is destabilizing our communities. This requires adopting public policy that encourages equitable development for homeowners and renters.
HUD: Donate foreclosed, vacant property to neighborhood organizationMy name is Willie Fleming. For the past several years, I have lived at 1401 E. 75th Street Chicago, IL 60619. I am now writing to you because the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) recently attempted to evict me from my apartment. I and the other tenants that live in this building are seeking to contact HUD to ensure that we can continue to live in this building. In 2007, I began renting this building from one of the former owners, Patricia Hill, with plans to work out of it for at least the next ten years. As soon as I moved in, I did my best to make this place not only a comfortable place for me to live, but also a resource for others in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood. As this is a mixed-use building, with both residential and storefront business space, I took it upon myself to reach out to local residents to see that it be used for programs and activities that benefited children, single parents, and others in need. By the time that I learned that the building had been foreclosed on in 2008, I had signed subleases with several tenants and local organizations. For a period of time, a food give away drive, a young women’s empowerment program, a youth poetry program, and an adult literacy initiative were all being run out of this building to provide services at no charge for those in the community. All of these efforts ground to a halt in March 2010, when Citibank and HUD began their eviction at the building. Even though we had received no notification about the foreclosure, nor were we given an opportunity to present our lease to the new property owner, we faced repeated eviction attempts that disrupted the constructive work we were doing with local residents. In addition to reaching out to the former owner, Ms. Hill, we also attempted to contact her commercial lender, Citibank, but we were unable to make any headway. In January 2014, my subtenants and I were forced to evacuate the property after the new property owner or its contractors had the heat cut off in the middle of winter. Over the next several weeks, we attempted to return to the property but faced the mounting task of repairing the significant damage that had been done to the pipes, walls, and floors after the building was allowed to freeze. By late February, we had been able to secure the property and begin making repairs. This process of making repairs to the property continued until June 2014, when we found that a contractor from Safeguard Properties LLC had, without any notification to use as the tenants, begun removing our items from the property. After notifying the contractor of our tenancy and contacting the police, they were forced to stop, but Safeguard ultimately refused to honor our claim for the items that had been taken from the property. Since August 2014, my subtenants and I have worked to make extensive repairs to the interior and exterior of this building, spending over $20,000 to address the damage done after the heat was cut, the pipes burst. Not only did we prevent it from being left as a vacant property, we also hired local tradesmen to make the repairs and convinced them to hire local youth to learn from them on the job. Ultimately, we hoped that the repairs that were made to this property might serve as an example for other organizations in how to address the growing problem of vacant properties and youth homelessness on the South Side of Chicago. On April 1st, 2016 the Cook County Sheriff executed an old eviction order. However, tenants still remained in the property because they did not have alternative safe, decent and habitable housing. These tenants have documented work on the repairs of this property as well as an extensive documented record of volunteerism with multiple organizations as they battle unemployment and the lack of labor force participation. In spite of these facts, they face continued threats of arrest for trespassing and theft of their property by the property preservation company.
Support a Community Benefits Agreement for the Turner Field CommunitiesFor fifty years, the communities surrounding Turner Field have been neglected, an almost forgotten footnote in Atlanta’s race to prove it is the “city too busy to hate.” Once thriving neighborhoods fell victim to the economic priorities of others: busy interstates divided communities and families; stadiums rose and fell, flooding communities with crime and raw sewage; local schools were neglected and underfunded; and promises for positive development were as empty as the scores of parking lots that litter the area. Now, there is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change all this. It’s called the Turner Field Community Benefit Agreement (CBA). A Community Benefits Agreement is a legally-binding contract with the developer that describes mutually-agreed and enforceable goals for the development project. This agreement is driven by local residents and the over 40 community organizations that make up the Turner Field Community Benefits Coalition, which Occupy Our Homes Atlanta is a member of. What would a CBA mean for our communities? A world of difference–for everyone. A well implemented CBA could alleviate flooding; improve transportation and create new public space; provide jobs for residents and create opportunities for training, education and services for people of all ages; create housing for people of all incomes and prevent displacement of existing residents; and make our streets and communities safer and cleaner, while providing places to shop for people in the neighborhood. Your support now can bring real and lasting change. Can we count on you? We need to demonstrate how powerful a Community Benefits Agreement could be for our communities and the developer. And the best way to do that is to show how many people support a CBA. Please add your name to our petition, then spread the word!
Approve Short Sale of Hartrey 2 flat so 9 Tenants May Stay in their Home.The House on Hartrey is important to its residents & the community for many different reasons. First & foremost is the youth. The 3 children living on the first floor have recently transferred to Evanston Schools from CPS this year & would most likely be displaced into another school district to the dismay of their caring mother. Their father, Daniel Guillen, who runs a local handyman service providing for the community, would no longer have the space needed for the tools, truck & equipment required for his work. The Guillen's regularly have extended family gatherings in their apartment & the large yard. The Professional Handyman School of Evanston, a 4 year apprenticeship program teaching all aspects of residential remodeling, uses the property as its primary facility. Thomas, who has a background in house painting, video production, & music is the newest apprentice & coordinates the gardening of 11 raised beds. "I came to the Hartrey House a few months ago when I was going through a break up. After bouncing around on couches & sleeping in my car with my dog Ruby because I couldn't lease a place due to the fact that it is very hard to find a dog friendly place & also the amount of money it cost for rent & security deposit, I found the Hartrey which was very affordable. I call it "Heart-Tree" because its full of love & it branches out through the community like a tree. Its been a life changing blessing & has allowed me to have shelter for Ruby & myself. Also to be able to contribute to the community through efforts we have going is something I truly enjoy whether it be in the garden, or watching one of the visiting dogs or helping Kevin on a job, all the projects benefit humankind & the neighborhood in some way which I am a big advocate of." Another service provided for the community is Logical Lodging, LLC which provides short term pet friendly, furnished, lodging and utilities for professionals, academics, & others who are on the move or otherwise not in a position to sign a lease for an apartment. Emilio, another roommate of Hartrey & dog owner "Staying here at Hartrey was not only the most affordable option but also surprisingly rewarding for me & Pinkie. I get to hang out with dogs, cool people, have family over, and help take care of visiting dogs through Logical Lodging" Izzy, auto body detailer & room mate living at the Hartrey has reduced his commute to work by half allowing him much needed rest time after long hours put in the shop where he is also rebuilding his own truck. Kevin Keeler owner, room mate, entrepeneur & journeyman tradesman "the building is essential for the growth of the individuals here as well as both business'. I've invested hundreds of hours of repair & remodeling into the property. I would like to see the building continue to be an home for even more people and dogs in the community as well as those passing through. I am open to contributions of time & energy from creative persons interested in the property. The experience of defending against this attempted foreclosure has empowered me with a new and much deeper appreciation of the incredible power of the law." In addition, the large permaculture community garden project is a key aspect of the Hartrey. 11 full size, raised garden beds provide organic gardening opportunities, feeding the residents as well as some neighbors. In conjunction to the garden, there have been several Potluck gatherings to bring together artists, musicians, and people interested in organic gardening to discuss furthur plans & ideas to benefit the community as a whole.
City Hall, URA, SEA: Low Income Housing for the Lower Hill!Bottom line. Rents are too damn high and wages are too damn low! In Pittsburgh there is an affordable housing crisis. This crisis is most severe for families and households who have very low and extremely low incomes. Black families and households are being forced out of the City in large numbers because of the lack of affordable housing for lower income families In Pittsburgh, over the last four decades politicians have promised a city that would be economically and racially diverse. But one mayor after another has accelerated existing class- and race-based inequities. Public housing complexes have been demolished; project-based Section 8 units are at risk of termination; and unemployment continues to skyrocket in many parts of the city. Some call Pittsburgh the most livable city in the United States but it is also the place where Black people rank 2nd from the bottom for economic opportunity. The current policy of the City of Pittsburgh is the forced migration of black people from Pittsburgh to the suburbs. In 1980 there were 100,000 black people in Pittsburgh. In 2010 there were 80,000 black people in Pittsburgh. We lost 20,000 black people. What happened? St. Clair Village 900 families gone … Arlington Heights 31 buildings -> 9… Addison Terrace is demolished displacing over 400 families. ... People who move can't find affordable housing in Pittsburgh. The City of Pittsburgh has a duty as a recipient of CDBG funds to affirmatively further fair housing choice. The City’s AFFH obligation includes the duty to provide opportunities for inclusive patterns of housing occupancy regardless of race, and this duty extends to all of the City’s housing activities. Zoning and other land use laws have a major influence on housing. These regulations govern where housing can be built, the type of housing that is allowed, the form it takes and many other factors. Land use regulations can directly or indirectly affect the cost of developing housing, making it harder or easier to accommodate affordable housing. It is unusual that zoning ordinances are written to openly discriminate, but in many cases, the unintended consequences of certain regulations are to limit housing choice, or otherwise reduce opportunities for fair and affordable housing.
BARNETT CAPITAL LTD: DON’T DISPLACE TENANTS FROM THEIR HOME AND HISTORYOur struggle is important not just because of our individual struggle as tenants against Barnett Capital, but because of the gentrification of our working class neighborhood of Albany Park. Thousands of tenants have been priced out of our neighborhood due to greedy speculation by corporations like Barnett Capital. Families living in the neighborhood for decades have to move away from their friends and extended family, their children's schools, their social networks, their community centers, their churches, all because of developers’ and speculators’ desire for profit. Because of gentrification, tenants are displaced from the place they call home. By struggling for our right to stay in the neighborhood at an affordable rent, we are forming part of the larger neighborhood struggle against gentrification. The community has power when we organize ourselves! Please join us, ally with us, be in solidarity with us, by signing this petition!
Vote NO on HR 1737For years, African-Americans as well as Hispanic and Asian Americans have paid significantly higher interest rates on car loans than have other buyers of equal credit-worthiness. Now, in a fresh outrage, more than 170 members of Congress are trying to undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s ability to combat discrimination in the auto lending market. Since 2013, the CFPB has required a group of banks to pay more than $150 million in fines and restitution to some 425,000 minority borrowers who got stuck with an average of several hundred dollars in extra loan payments. In June 2015, the Bureau began to oversee the auto lending practices of nonbank financial companies, which had previously escaped federal regulation. But auto dealers are up in arms over the Bureau’s efforts to make them treat people fairly. They’ve persuaded the House Financial Services Committee to approve legislation – HR 1737 - that would force the CFPB to rescind the auto-lending directives it has already issued, while going through procedural hoops before taking any further action. By putting obstacles in the CFPB’s way, HR 1737 would sanction a system that not only routinely costs minority car buyers more money, but puts them at added risk of having their cars repossessed. This measure might as well have been named the “Perpetuating Auto Loan Kickbacks and Racial Discrimination Act.” But the car dealers are lobbying hard, and they have won distressingly high support so far: 170 co-sponsors for their bill, and 47 votes for, with only 10 against, in the Financial Services Committee. This terrible legislation could come to the House floor any day now. We need many more people to oppose it if we are going to succeed in keeping it from ever being signed into law. Please take action now.
FREDDIE MAC: DON'T EVICT, ACCEPT RENT!My name is Rose K. Webster-Smith and I live at 87 Leatherleaf Dr. in Springfield Massachusetts. My husband and I live there with our three children ages 25, 11, and 8. In October of 2011, Freddie Mac foreclosed on my home and sold it back to themselves for half of what we had purchased the property for during the height of housing bubble in 2006. We never made a single payment to the original mortgage company, Merrimack Mortgage, because they immediately sold it after we closed on the home to US Bank Home Mortgage who was the servicer for Freddie Mac. A few years after we bought the house I began to have health issues which inhibited my ability to work. At the same time, during the economic crisis, my husband’s employer began to restrict workable hours for the employees, not allowing any overtime and not issuing cost of living raises for three years. Also during this time, our health care costs went up every year further constricting our income. All of these situations led to us falling behind on our mortgage. We actively pursued getting a modification from US Bank Home Mortgage and we eventually entered into a trial HAMP modification in June 2011 and paid all three of the required trial payments. Unfortunately, when it came time to complete the paperwork to make the trial modification a permanent one, we suffered another life event and were not able to send in the paperwork with certified funds on time. I then contacted US Bank to let them know what had happened and applied for another modification. US Bank never contacted me letting me know that we were missing paperwork for that modification. US Bank never let me know that I had been denied the modification because we were missing paperwork so that I could appeal their decision and get them the missing paperwork. They instead foreclosed in October of 2011. For the last four years, my husband and I have maintained the property. We mow the lawn and trim the vines, rake the leaves to make sure the outside is maintained and looks nice. We maintain the furnace every year and make sure it is cleaned out with new filters each winter season. We make sure that the walk ways, the driveway, and the fire hydrant are shoveled out after each snow storm. We make sure the hardwood floors are polished and well preserved to make it through to another year. We have kept the property as we would have maintained if it were in our name, with love and hard work. Our children know no other place to be there home except this one and all they want is to be able to stay in the house that we have made a home. I am an active member of my community. I volunteer with the Springfield Read Out Loud Program in the elementary schools. I do educational talks and events on Native American Culture in the school classrooms. My home is in between the elementary school that my daughter attends and the middle school that my son attends, allowing me to continue to play an active role in both of their educations. My neighbors and I, all look out for each other and help each other out when anyone has a need in our community. I am a part of the Springfield Bank Tenant Association. We are collectively opposed to the mass evictions being carried out by the banks after foreclosure. They are causing untold suffering to thousands of people and dragging down our communities. We are committed to doing what we have to do to fight against these evictions and the destruction of our communities but we would rather work out an agreement with Freddie Mac.
Tells Wells Fargo to Negotiate with Yolanda Andrews!Yolanda Andrews was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, where she and her husband, Hosea, bought their first home in May of 2004. Yolanda often talks about the joy she felt the day her family got the keys to their piece of the American Dream. Today, Yolanda and Hosea are on the other side of that experience, living the American Nightmare. After the economic collapse in 2008, Yolanda lost one of her jobs. She tried working with Wells Fargo in 2010 to get a modification on her mortgage at terms that reflected the real value of her home and at a rate that was affordable for her and Hosea. Eventually Wells Fargo relented and offered Yolanda and Hosea a mortgage modification BUT the terms of the new deal did nothing to lighten the threat of foreclosure. Under the deal, the Andrews family received a lower interest rate, but Wells Fargo increased the principal balance of their mortgage by over $20,000! Yolanda’s monthly payment ended up being only $49 less per month. Yolanda is now battling cancer and fighting for her life. Yolanda has been active in the anti-foreclosure movement for years, always standing with other homeowners in their fights. She has signed petitions, marched in rallies and even taken her story – and the stories of her neighbors fighting foreclosure - to the annual Wells Fargo shareholder conference in Texas in 2014. Wells Fargo claims to be committed to improving the quality of life in the communities which they do business. Ginnie Mae’s mission is supposed to be to “help make affordable housing a reality” for working people like Yolanda and Hosea. If these statements are true, the Andrews would have a mortgage modification that they could afford so they can stay in their home and keep their community from being destabilized even further by the foreclosure crisis. Please support the Andrew’s fight to save their home. Together we can send a loud and clear message to Wells Fargo that families are fighting back against their greedy deals!