After 5 Years of Ignoring Outmigration Task Force and Other Reports, Communities Unite to Demand Support of Innovative Housing Preservation Program to Save Hundreds of Homes
Nearly 40 black and Latino borrowers held a press conference and Action on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 prior to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Hearing to save over 600 at risk homes who could face foreclosure and add to the displacement and housing crisis facing the city. A growing coalition of borrowers from across the City are calling on the Supervisors to support a resolution calling for urgent action to reverse the decline of working class homeowners and to save San Francisco’s remaining diverse communities. The resolution calls on San Francisco to join with other Bay Area Communities in implementing CARES – Community Action to Restore Equity and Stability – a program to modify some of the worst loans and tackle the growing wealth divide and racial economic inequality in lending.
Following the press conference, the borrowers who had been trying to meet with Supervisors the previous weeks, marched in to Board Hearing and began to give their testimonies and reasons to support the pending Housing Preservation Resolution co-authored by Supervisors Avalos, Campos, Kim and Mar. A the start of the Hearing, over 30 Members moved to the front of the hearing holding signs that stated “Save our Homes,” hand written signs with personal stories, a map of the homes in the foreclosure pipeline and underwater homes and signs that state “Support SF CARES.”
Before the second speaker could make a statement, President Chiu, called for a recess while Sheriff’s removed the struggling borrowers who left shouting “save our homes.”
In a Statement by ACCE Board Chair Vivian Richardson she stated that there has been a failure by the city to address the outmigration of the black community. “Five years ago, the Mayor’s Office quietly released a report by the African American Out-Migration Task Force with “urgent” recommendations to address the 20 year 41% decline of the City’s African American Population – a displacement and decline caused by predatory lending and the foreclosure crisis that broke our economy and ripped apart our community. Two years later, we warned the city with our “Wall Street Wrecking Ball Report” that the ongoing crisis and estimated 12,410 foreclosures would cost homeowners – mostly Black and Latino – $6.9 billion loss in home value and wealth. Now with the next wave of a foreclosure and displacement crisis, we refuse to allow this to continue to fall on deaf ears any longer –it is time for San Francisco to CARE!”
ACCE Leader Ed Donaldson listed statistics from the Treasury Department that shows evidence of a next wave of a foreclosures crisis is coming due to many loans resetting in 2015 based on short term modifications. He stated that these resetting loans will leave thousands more local families stuck in unaffordable loans, forcing them to work more hours to make monthly payments, or increase the displacement epidemic through short sale or foreclosure.
“Five years ago, the African American Outmigration Task Force urged the City to create a local Rescue Loan Program to assist distressed homeowners impacted by predatory loans” stated Donaldson, “to date this and many other recommendations by the Task Force have been ignored.”
Testimonies by borrowers struggling to stay in their homes included Charlie Batte, a 40 Year Bayview resident who is fighting to save her home. Unable to get a loan modification from Wells Fargo Bank – one of the largest holders of predatory and unaffordable loans – Mrs. Batte traveled to the Wells Fargo shareholders meeting in Texas to confront Wells CEO John Stumpf. A second long term Bayview resident, Ken Jolivette shared his story of being raised in the Bayview, worked hard to send his 9 children to college while running a child care business and serving as an active leader of the Children’s Council. Despite a perfect credit score, there are no city programs and his lender is unwilling to help him modify his loan so he can save his home and childcare business by modifying his loan.
The rally highlighted the growing wealth Inequality in the Southeastern Neighborhoods due to the housing downturn and foreclosure crisis. Speakers stated that since the end of the recession (mid-2009) the national net worth of black households fell 53 percent ($12,124 in 2005 to $5,677 in 2009), Hispanic households saw a 66 percent drop ($18,359 to $6,325), Asians a 54 percent drop ($168,103 to $78,066) while white families were affected by a much lower rate of 16 percent, ($134,992 in 2005 to $113,149) during this same 5 years – all affected by the housing downturn and foreclosure crisis. In San Francisco, the communities most impacted by the foreclosure crisis were the communities that are a majority communities of color – the Bayview and Ingleside/Excelsior Communities – which – accounted for nearly 3,500 foreclosures.
Further References to the Second Wave of Foreclosures:
Feds Lack Options to Help HELOC Borrowers as Resets Loom states that the Treasury Department will have few options to help homeowners if a coming wave of resets on home equity lines of credit leaves borrowers struggling to pay their monthly bills.
HELOC Resets Could Force Lenders to Rework Loans Once Again as homeowners are beginning to see their monthly payments go up, this time because their home equity lines of credit have reached the 10-year mark and are resetting. Instead of requiring just interest payments, the second lien becomes fully amortizing and the borrower has to pay both interest and principal each month for the first time.
ACCE Action is a not for profit grassroots community organization that is made up of community members who join as members in order to advance the issues that affect them and their community. ACCE has been effective in stopping foreclosures, evictions and displacement of hundreds of San Francisco Families; in passing local and statewide legislation and holding elected officials accountable to their local communities through direct action and civic engagement. For more information or to get involved email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 415-335-7033 or visit www.calorganize.orgFiled under: San Francisco News, Uncategorized