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Housing

Banks vow cooperation on foreclosures

Banks say they'll work with community advocates, agree to maintain vacant properties. Representatives of five of the nation's leading banks told a crowd of 1,100 Sunday that they would work with the advocacy group Common Ground to deal with Milwaukee's foreclosure crisis, including maintaining vacant land and boarded-up properties. The banks' response was much different a year ago, when Common Ground, then a new community organization, launched an initiative to hold major banks accountable for the mounting foreclosure crisis that has helped to depress Milwaukee's housing market...

When a Bank is Too Big to Hide

After months of trying, David confronts Goliath tomorrow in Frankfurt, Germany, at the annual shareholders meeting of the world's second largest bank. David is otherwise known as Common Ground, an upstart, feisty, two-year old community organizing endeavor spanning four counties in southeast Wisconsin, including Milwaukee. Goliath is Deutsche Bank (Assets: $3.23 trillion), founded in 1870, about the same time that thousands of German immigrants were streaming into Milwaukee and turning it into a prosperous beer-making and manufacturing center...

Fairfax tenement restores alarms, extinguishers

The squalid Vista Gardens apartment complex has corrected “over 80 percent” of the more than 700 fire code violations issued in a Fairfax County crackdown last month, including those for the widespread lack of fire alarms, a fire department spokesman said Monday.

The apartments, which sit in the Culmore community near Falls Church off Leesburg Pike, were the subject of an intense investigation by building code, health and fire officials after pressure from the community brought elected leaders into action...

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