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Issues & Victories

Housing



UrbanMatters to Build 100 Units of Affordable Housing in DC

WIN is very excited about an upcoming development by UrbanMatters Development Partners L.L.C., WIN's affiliated housing development company. UrbanMatters collaborated with Progressive National Baptist Convention, and Atlantic | Pacific Companies to help plan and propose more needed affordable housing in DC. When completed, the project located at Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, will provide 100 units of housing for those earning up to 60% of the median area income, and pave the way for continued redevelopment of the area.

http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/100_affordable_apartments_on_nannie_helen_burroughs/12442



Washington Interfaith Network: Victory in Fight for Short Term Family Housing

WIN leaders packed local community meetings and a board of zoning hearing winning approval for the construction of 3 “short term housing” facilities (a more dignified term than family shelter).  On Wednesday April 5th, the DC Board of Zoning Adjustment unanimously voted to approve the zoning variances and exceptions for the construction of short term family housing in wards 3 and 5! This vote is a major milestone in the effort to close the dilapidated DC General Family Shelter, and helps the city to more equally share the responsibility for caring for the most vulnerable among us. With this vote, zoning has been approved in all six facilities going under construction, and the next step forward is breaking ground!



Lake County United Celebrates Completion of Fairhaven Crossing

Lake County United identified the land, secured the site, established a development team, and built the community support for a 40-unit affordable housing complex in Mundelein, IL. Over 300 Lake County United leaders gathered to celebrate the opening of Fairhaven Crossing, which will give everyone, including residents with disabilities, the opportunity to live as independently as possible.  The unit includes a community center and computer room.



Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) members fight to make DC a city that works for ALL its residents

WIN leaders packed local community meetings and a board of zoning hearing to support the construction of 3 “short term housing” facilities (a more dignified term than shelter).  DC with its high cost of living has some of the highest rates of homelessness in the nation especially for families with children.  This brings WIN one step closer to success in a 4-year campaign to close and replace the dilapidated DC General Family Shelter with smaller and safer facilities spread throughout the district.

Listen to the testimony of Mrs. Barnett who lives at DC General shelter with her husband and three young children.

Mrs. Barnett Testimony about Short Term Family Housing



UrbanMatters Completing Final Affordable Housing Units at Eden Place

UrbanMatters, an affordable housing development company co-founded by Washington Interfaith Network (WIN), is in the final stages of completing the last five units for Eden Place Phase I, a 29 unit Nehemiah home community in Washington, DC. Eden Place is comprised of 3 and 4 bedroom townhomes sold at affordable rates to first time home buyers, and is the result of a seven year long fight by WIN to get a blighted and abandoned property revitalized.



Durham CAN Wins Campaign on Affordable Housing on City Owned Lot in Downtown Durham

Durham CAN leaders demanded and won public agreement from the Durham City Council for the construction of affordable housing at a publicly owned lot located next to the Durham Station Transportation Center. At least 80% of the units built in this lot will be affordable to families at 60% AMI or below.  City Council Moves Forward with Mix-Income Project



Action In Montgomery (AIM) - A Year of Fighting in Northwest Park Results in Victory with Big Housing Improvements

Seeking redress for deplorable conditions in their apartments, tenants of Northwest Park spent the last year organizing to hold Kay Management accountable for reoccurring mold and persistent problems with rodents, bed bugs and cockroaches that have triggered or exacerbated asthma conditions. After the discovery of over 2,000 housing violations, tenants have worked to get a number of improvements, the latest of which was a commitment from Kay Management to replace all of the windows in the complex over the next four years and overhaul their policy for preventing and remediating mold.



Metro Affordable Housing Track Record



WIN Celebrates 39 New Affordable Apartment Homes

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On September 25, Urban Matters/WIN celebrated the grand opening of Eastbrooke, 39 Affordable Apartment Homes in Ward # 7 near Beulah Baptist.

Mr. Ray Nix is doing just a spectacular job developing quality housing and leading Urban Matters, which is now recognized in DC & MD as a top flight development firm.
 
Mayor Bowser and Councilmember Alexander attended the grand opening along with 50+ WIN leaders and Ward # 7 residents.



Orange County Justice United Wins Tenant Rights

Justice United leaders mobilized tenants throughout Orange County to attend three bi-lingual Fair Housing workshops and collaborate on a Bill of Rights with the UNC Legal Assistance Clinic and the County Human Relations Commission.

The resulting “Declaration of Tenants’ Rights and Responsibilities” includes a Resource Guide to help tenants find redress. JU leaders successfully petitioned the Towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill, and the Orange County Board of Commissioners to endorse the Declaration. The Declaration has special importance in Carrboro and Chapel Hill, where a respective 64% and 52% of the total housing units are tenant occupied.

Over 150 low-income tenants were directly affected by this action. Thousands of area tenants now have documentation of their rights and responsibilities, including notation of the state statute that requires landlords to provide safe, habitable housing. Local governments heard from tenants about many of the issues they are facing, as a result, they will now be better able to assist tenants with ongoing issues and concerns.

Read more from Chapel Hill News



Metro IAF NY Wins Federal Judicial Oversight to Ensure Real Cleanup of Mold by NYCHA

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS- DEC 16

The City Housing Authority is about to come under judicial oversight to erase one of its worst plagues — creeping mold in aging apartments, the Daily News has learned. The city signed off on a consent decree Monday that will give a federal judge the ability to ensure the New York City Housing Authority finally eradicates the longstanding and dangerous condition.

The federal court intervention is seen as a game-changer in the battle to reform NYCHA’s inability to tackle an issue that affects hundreds of tenants citywide.The residents have waited in vain, sometimes for years, for NYCHA to answer requests to clean up toxic mold. Often the work was useless, with the agency painting over the mold without fixing the leak that caused it. Now, with the power of a federal court behind them, tenants and their attorneys can for the first time go directly to a judge to impose significant financial penalties on NYCHA if it doesn’t get the job done right.

Over the past year, the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, a civic group, has threatened to file suit charging the city has for years violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by housing hundreds of tenants with asthma in mold-infested units. The Monday settlement will allow a Manhattan federal judge to monitor NYCHA’s promised improvements over the next three years. 

Most important for tenants, the agreement makes mold abatement NYCHA’s top priority, with the agency committing to remedy all mold conditions — including the underlying leaky pipes — within 15 days of receiving a complaint. NYCHA must then follow up within 60 days to make sure the work was done correctly and to ensure mold and moisture “have been eliminated entirely.”

“This agreement is long in coming,” declared tenant Maribel Baez, whose asthma has been aggravated for years by mold in her Marlboro Houses apartment in Brooklyn. “My hope is that (with) Metro IAF, our lawyers and a federal court all keeping NYCHA and the city accountable, conditions for me and my fellow tenants will begin to improve.”

 



EBC and NYCHA Leaders Take Action

More than 450 NYCHA tenants and leaders gathered at Our Lady of Mercy last night to say, as Nancy Baptiste from St. Paul put it, "Enough!"  The room was electric with anger and energy.   

Father Mason began by putting our fight to clean up NYCHA in the context of a larger 35-year struggle to rebuild our neighborhoods.  We've made great progress but we are not finished yet.  

Leader after leader testified about moldy ceilings, huge leaky holes, giant water bugs, and the damage these cause to their health.  "My apartment is making me sick," said Tawana Myers, who is recovering from two open-heart surgeries.  "Let me breathe.  Get some people to my apartment and my neighbors' apartments and start making the repairs."

Michell Hernandez, a young leader from Mercy, held up her family's nebulizer machine that she, her father and mother must use to breathe at night because the mold is so thick in their apartment.  She implored NYCHA to stop using paint to treat their mold.  "If my apartment were a patient at a hospital run by the New York City Housing Authority, it would be dead. Dead."  Get in there, she added, and find the source of the leak and treat it properly.

Reverend Bachus recalled with anger at witnessing a member of Mt. Ollie have an asthma attack at church.  "You're health should not be determined by the address that you are from.  But it is for many people who live in NYCHA."

You could feel the tension as Carlos Laboy-Diaz approached the microphone. Laboy-Diaz is NYCHA's VP for Operations and supervises the borough directors, including Brooklyn's Philip Calandrillo.  Reverend Brawley and Nyginer Brewer laid it out to Laboy-Diaz clearly:  this is a test and it's pass or fail.  To pass, you've got to commit to make the more than 400 repairs that we have spent weeks documenting and investigating, and too many years living.  

Laboy-Diaz quickly withdrew into NYCHA babble about how much progress they've made over the last year. Reverend Brawley cut him off, "You're not answering our question.  You've failed the first test.  Let's start over."  The back and forth continued for almost 10 minutes until finally Laboy-Diaz begrudgingly agreed to stop the leaks, repairs the walls, paint the living rooms and send the exterminators to almost 150 apartments.  

Laboy-Diaz has made commitments like this before to our allies at South Bronx Churches and then failed to deliver.  It's up to us to make him and Calandrillo follow through.  Next Monday, we'll lead a joint tour of a handful of these apartments so they can see first hand what tenants are living with.

Both teams -- the one up front and the larger one throughout the church -- did an excellent job together.  We had a good mix of new and veteran leaders and churches, and great anger and energy.  Congratulations to everyone who has spent the last 6 months meeting other church and school members; organizing house meetings and listening sessions; and finding scores of talented leaders willing to do the work to continue the rebuilding.




VOICE victories in Foreclosure and Affordable Housing

Virginians Organizing for interfaith Community Engagement’s Bank & Foreclosure Accountability Campaign secured $30 million in commitments for VOICE's Prince William Restoration Fund from Bank of America, General Electric, and VAHousing Development Authority (VHDA). The fund will support a pilot that would (1) rehab 100 abandoned / blighted properties in neighborhoods devastated by foreclosure for affordable homeownership & rental housing, and (2) allow for the development of 1,500 units of rental housing over the next 15 years in Northern Virginia for families. VOICE announced the commitments at 500+person action in Woodbridge, VA with Senator Mark Warner and representatives from Bank ofAmerica, General Electric,and VHDA. When JPMorgan refused to participate in the restoration fund, VOICE organized a direct action at their DC Private Banking Offices with 60 leaders. We’ll be focused like a laser on JPMorgan in 2014. VOICE's pioneering  work has garnered significant national media coverage by USA Today, CNN, and the Washington Post.

VOICE organized and helped secure a zoning variance for 77 new affordable housing units being created on land owned by ArlingtonPartnership for Affordable Housing (APAH). Off of this successful effort VOICE launched an Arlington Affordable Housing Campaign at an action with 550 leaders to get Arlington County to build 1,500 new affordable rental units for families making less than $50,000/year on public and non-profit owned land in the next 3-5 years.

VOICE organized a 250-person One Reston Walk where VOICE leaders and Crescent Apartments tenants got Board of Supervisors Chairperson Bulova and Supervisor Hudgins to support tenants with their goal of returning to the redeveloped complex. In Fairfax City, VOICE organized with Layton Hall tenants to successfully get the city council to require a developer to provide more generous relocation assistance to 110 tenants and include 5% affordable units in the redeveloped complex. This is the first time Fairfax City has imposed affordable housing requirements on developers.



NYC Metro IAF affiliates win commitment for $10 million in public housing security upgrades

After an extensive campaign documenting safety and health hazards in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments, Metro IAF NYC affiliates successfully pushed Mayor Bloomberg and the director of the housing authority to install security cameras in 85 of the most dangerous housing developments, as well as other security upgrades representing a $10 million investment.



BUILD organizes to rebuild East Baltimore

With TRF Development Partners, BUILD organizes to rebuild East Baltimore. In the worst housing market since the Great Depression, BUILD continues to rebuild the Oliver Community located in East Baltimore. 40 homes have been constructed, fully occupied. 20 are under construction. 


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In the News


Berlin Affiliate, DICO, Pushes Local Government to Support Affordable Housing Vision

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Berlin Germany

 As part of the ongoing campaign by the three Berlin DICO-affiliates to develop large-scale affordable housing, some 90 leaders gathered on a 74-acre underutilized industrial riverfront site to envision its potential and meet the owner. The currently underused 74 acres can be transformed into a new community including some 3,200 units of housing, as well as a school, kindergardens and public spaces. DICO is pushing the Boro of Treptow-Köpenick to support its vision.  The Boro continues to oppose the project despite supporting luxury housing development in the vicinity.


WIN Leaders, Former Temple Courts Resident Share Importance of Affordable Housing in DC

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
WIN

WIN leaders, Nathan Brown and John Ducey, sat down with radio host, Kojo Nnamdi, on April 26th to discuss Temple Courts, affordable housing that was knocked down 8 years ago and still has not been rebuilt. As a former resident, Brown spoke of the importance of having a seat at the table as the developer selection process moves forward.


East Brooklyn Congregations: Leaders Demand Safety, Housing Repairs from NYCHA and Transportation Commissioner

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
DNA Info

When Brooklyn Director and his managers refused to meet with 200 NYCHA tenants from four developments because the Director’s office could not afford the one hour of overtime, residents decided to act. The action from the Director’s office demonstrated an obvious lack of respect for their tenants. Thus ensued four days of action by EBC and tenants to confront NYCHA managers.  EBC sent a delegation to the Hope Gardens development office to confront the manager for not showing-up. Fr. Hoffman led a group of 25 people, and again, the manager refused to meet with them.

The group conducted a phone bank in the lobby with tenants calling 25 executives and managers from NYCHA, starting with the Chairwoman, and asked the managers to fix the intercom at 120 Menahan Street. EBC ran this action in response to recently posted letters instructing tenants to "call-in" about an intercom that had been broken for over a decade. The logic was that if managers wanted tenants to call rather than meet face to face, that's exactly what EBC would do.

The manager eventually emerged and was furious at the scene. He and his superior offered to take individual complaints, but the group refused to be bought off.

EBC also confronted the Transportation Commissioner, Polly Trottenberg. More than 225 leaders and students from 14 institutions, including a large contingent from Epiphany Lutheran School, came out to force Trottenberg to publicly commit to meet with EBC on Thursday, May 4th.  During that meeting, EBC will continue to build a better relationship and begin to get commitments for much needed speed bumps, traffic lamps and street lamps.  

Overall, within four days, 500 leaders took action on NYCHA, transportation and sanitation.


In Fight Against Mega-Landlord, Leaders Win Long Overdue City Housing Inspections

Sunday, March 26, 2017
Jersey City

 

 

 

On Sunday, March 26th, 175+ tenant & Jersey City Together leaders gathered at St Paul's Episcopal Church to hold one of the city's largest landlords - Trendy Management - accountable. The owner, Esther Kaplan, had promised to attend, but cancelled at 12pm the day of the action. After tours of one of their buildings with leaders, press, & public officials, the city has begun systematically investigating their buildings. Inspections of the first 6 of their properties have resulted in more than 325 violations. The company owns more than 140 rent-controlled apartment buildings in Jersey City.

 

"Mold and Flooding, but no heat: Residents unite to take on Mega Landlord"

Jersey Journal (Caitlin Mota)

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2017/03/jersey_city_residents_with_no_heat_living_in_mold.html#incart_2box_hudson

 

"Jersey City Together Group helping tenants hold management company accountable"

Jersey City Independent (Ricardo Kaulessar) http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/2017/03/jersey-city-together-group-helping-tenants-hold-management-company-accountable/

 

"Mega-Landlord hit with 100+ violations after residents rally for action"

Jersey Journal (Caitlin Mota)

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2017/03/more_than_100_violations_for_mega-landlord_after_r.html#incart_river_index

 

"Here's hoping mayor keeps promise to hold mega-landlord accountable" (Op-Ed)

Op-Ed (Earl Morgan), Jersey Journal

http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/04/heres_hoping_mayor_keeps_promise_to_hold_landlord.html#incart_river_index

 

"Another 200+ violations issued to Jersey City mega-landlord"

Jersey Journal (Caitlin Mota)

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2017/04/another_186_violations_issued_to_jersey_city_mega-.html#incart_2box_hudson

 


Metro IAF NY Wins Federal Judicial Oversight to Ensure Real Cleanup of Mold by NYCHA

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
New York Daily News

The City Housing Authority is about to come under judicial oversight to erase one of its worst plagues — creeping mold in aging apartments, the Daily News has learned.

The city signed off on a consent decree Monday that will give a federal judge the ability to ensure the New York City Housing Authority finally eradicates the longstanding and dangerous condition.

The federal court intervention is seen as a game-changer in the battle to reform NYCHA’s inability to tackle an issue that affects hundreds of tenants citywide.

 


Advocates: Pr. William communities to get $30 million for housing pilot program

Monday, June 3, 2013
The Washington Post

 

Millions in funding for a housing pilot program that would go toward restoring communities affected by the 2008 foreclosure crisis in Prince William County will be promised by two major financial institutions and a Virginia housing agency Monday, according to Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement.

Prince William suffered more than 20,000 foreclosures during the housing market collapse and was the hardest hit locality in Virginia, according to the coalition of interfaith groups, which has organized around housing issues in the county. The $30 million pilot program would buy and rehabilitate about 100 vacant, blighted townhouses and provide for 1,500 affordable rentals in some of the Prince William communities most affected by the collapse — around Dale City, Georgetown South in Manassas and Williamstown in Dumfries.

 

 


Bloomberg vows to eliminate backlog of NYCHA repairs by end of year

Friday, February 1, 2013
New York Daily News

Mayor Bloomberg promised Thursday to eliminate a stunning backlog of 420,000 public housing apartment repairs by the end of the year. But critics were skeptical the city could meet its goals. “Today marks the beginning of the end of this problem,” the mayor declared at a press conference in the Drew-Hamilton Houses in East Harlem.


Unexpected Focus at a Mayoral Forum

Friday, January 25, 2013
The New York Times

This year’s campaign for New York City mayor was expected to turn on police tactics, education policy and economic development.  On Thursday, six of the leading candidates in the race found themselves discussing something different: mold.


Mayoral Candidates Hold Public Forum

Friday, January 25, 2013
New York Daily News

Six major mayoral candidates squared off for the first time Thursday night, and all went on the attack — not against each other, but against Mayor Bloomberg.


First affordable townhome of planned 22 lowered on foundation in Jackson Hill ceremony

Saturday, January 19, 2013
The Jersey Journal

The first in a series of new townhomes in the Jackson Hill neighborhood of Jersey City was lowered onto its foundation yesterday as part of a ceremony celebrating the new affordable housing.


Public Housing Residents Claim NYCHA Just Paints Over Mold Problems

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
CBS News New York

It’s a cry for help from residents of New York City public housing. Many have been complaining about mold in their city apartments for years, but charge the New York City Housing Authority never really confronts the problem. “I’ve been having this problem over ten years now, with the mold. We [call] the complaint center, we put in a ticket and what they do is they come and they paint right over it and within three months, the mold starts to grow back again,” Rosanna De La Cuadra told 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks.


NYCHA's failure to stop reoccurring mold invasion spurs suit

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
New York Daily News

The mold in public housing tenant Patricia Gorritz’s apartment got so bad for her asthmatic children, the city Health Department ordered NYCHA to clean it immediately. A year later, NYCHA has done nothing to keep the mold from coming back again and again. On Tuesday, Gorritz will join other frustrated tenants in an action against the authority for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act — on the grounds that asthma is a disability.


Nehemiah Spring Creek is New York Magazine Space of the Week

Thursday, November 8, 2012
New York Magazine

Alexander Gorlin is perhaps best known as the architect behind high-end residential constructions. He was even tasked with designing World Trade Center master planner Daniel Libeskind’s own living space. But Gorlin firmly believes in the modernist dream of the architect as an agent of social change. Just days before Sandy hit, he took me on a tour of his latest project—East New York’s Nehemiah Spring Creek—a neighborhood of prefabricated townhouses for first-time home buyers. The process starts in this Brooklyn Navy Yard factory where the houses are constructed by Capsys.


VOICE sings Bank of America’s praises in Woodbridge

Tuesday, October 2, 2012
The Washington Post

The scene at a Prince William County church Monday night may have been startling to regulators and some homeowners just a few years ago: a room full of politicians, interfaith leaders and about 700 congregants rising to their feet and praising Bank of America, once reviled by some for its banking practices.  Bank of America executive Andrew Plepler, in charge of global corporate responsibility, said the bank has been a steadfast partner of Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, a coalition of more than 40 interfaith congregations that have sought to hold banks and politicians accountable for the 2008 housing crisis.


Fighting Foreclosure in Prince William County

Monday, October 1, 2012
4 NBC Washington

More than 700 people in desperate need of help packed a church in Prince William County Oct. 1 to share stories of struggle and demand help from banks.


Picture this, NYCHA tenants - now you are getting cameras!

Saturday, August 4, 2012
New York Daily News

The city's public housing honcho has thrown it in reverse — again.  NYCHA Chairman John Rhea renewed a promise Friday to install cameras in 80-plus developments by the end of next year. Two days earlier, Rhea told the Daily News there would be security enhancements at the selected housing projects, not necessarily cameras.

 


Mayor Bloomberg must face up to NYCHA’s unforgiveable failures

Friday, August 3, 2012
New York Daily News

The mayor should have read the letter. The mayor should have taken the contents seriously. The mayor should have responded appropriately and aggressively for the betterment of New York.  The subject was the New York City Housing Authority, whose failures of leadership and execution have been front and center in the Daily News.


Letter to Mayor Bloomberg last year warned of NYCHA's failures

Friday, August 3, 2012
New York Daily News

City housing officials, in addition to sitting on nearly $1 billion in federal funds, were too inept to collect another $600 million in available revenue, a civic improvement group charged last year.  In a letter to Mayor Bloomberg, the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation complained the New York City Housing Authority’s management was beset by “delay, confusion and complaints.”


Spring Creek Nehemiah is an Affordable Housing Success Story in East New York

Friday, July 27, 2012
New York Daily News

Linda Boyce says it happens all the time. People turn off Flatlands Ave. in East New York, Brooklyn, and slowly cruise Linwood, Vandalia, and Egan Sts. They look around, admiring multi-colored boxy houses with big backyards, private driveways, and patches of front gardens.  “Someone always asks ‘How can I live here?’ ” says Boyce, a member of the first Homeowner Association at Nehemiah Spring Creek, one of the city’s largest affordable homeowning developments and a national model for affordable housing programs. “That makes us proud. We work hard to keep this neighborhood clean and safe. Sometimes I forget I’m in Brooklyn.”


New Milwaukee housing program rebuilds houses, lives

Saturday, June 16, 2012
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Martin Sinclair stood Thursday on the steps of the vacant, neglected house in the 2500 block of N. 52nd St., and before a gathering of bankers, government officials and area residents, he confessed.  "I came from the streets and I ran with guys who tore up the community," said Sinclair, 28, an ex-offender. "Now I have the opportunity to give back and fix what I helped to destroy."


Banks: Nearly 1,000 Prince William Co. homeowners eligible for mortgage settlement help

Monday, June 4, 2012
The Washington Post

MANASSAS, Va. — Nearly 1,000 homeowners in Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park have been identified as eligible for assistance in the $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement announced this year, two banks reported Sunday at a community meeting.

The announcements about how the housing settlement will affect Prince William County came at a community meeting sponsored by Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE), which has been pressing banks to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in Prince William County to compensate for the devastation caused by the wave of foreclosures.


Ken Cuccinelli looks at foreclosures in Manassas neighborhood

Tuesday, May 8, 2012
The Washington Post

Virginia’s top cop and Prince William County resident Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II toured a foreclosure-wracked neighborhood Thursday in Manassas.  He met privately with organizers and religious leaders from Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) and then toured the Manassas neighborhood of Georgetown South as neighborhood leaders described how vacant properties affect a place — and, as organizers and religious leaders put it, how banks and lenders used dubious tactics that helped Prince William become one of the worst hit places for foreclosures in the state.


Predator GE: We Bring Bad Things to Life

Friday, April 27, 2012
The Nation

If the Justice Department wants to get serious about investigating financial fraud by Wall Street big boys, it ought to drop by the White House and interview Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric. Immelt is chair of President Obama’s jobs and competitive council, where he strategizes about how to revive American manufacturing. In some other places, only thirty miles from the White House, Immelt is known as the subprime foreclosure king.


Obama’s mortgage unit is AWOL

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
NY Daily News

By Michael Gecan and Arnie Graf

Three months ago, in his State of the Union speech, President Obama announced a new task force to investigate mortgage fraud and bring some measure of relief to the 12 million American families who are either losing their homes or in danger of losing them.  The new Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group would be co-chaired by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, U.S. Attorney John Walsh of Colorado and three Washington insiders from the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Obama said, “This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans.”  Whether or not the President, attorney general and others intend to get around to this task someday, “speed” was a terrible word to choose. Because 85 days after that speech, there is no sign of any activity.

 

Bronx photo exhibit depicts poor living conditions for some in public housing; organizers call for action

Friday, March 30, 2012
New York Daily News

A girl in a pink-painted bedroom sits on a bunkbed wearing an airmask over her nose, clutching a machine to help her breathe.  The image is one of nearly two dozen photographs featured in the new exhibit, How The Other Half (Still) Lives: Bloomberg's Legacy?  Taken by photojournalist Ana Brigida, the photos show tenants living with crumbling walls, exposed pipes and moldy ceilings at various public housing complexes in Bronx, Harlem and lower Manhattan.

“They're amazing photographs that show the beauty and strength of people who are basically being condemned to deteriorating health because of the city's lack of will to truly fix these problems,” said Marielys Divanne, lead organizer with South Bronx Churches and Manhattan Together, the community organizing groups sponsoring the exhibit.


 

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