Monday, February 14, 2011

 

More from John Hill on the Detroit Housing Crisis

This post is to follow up on my guest posts last summer on the US Social Forum. In last summer's posts I talked about the housing crisis in Detroit and said I would find out about and report back on the causes of the crisis and what can be done about it.

I found the site of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs and spoke with them about the housing disaster and possible solutions.

The housing crisis that hit Detroit so hard did so in part because of the aggravating factors of the decline of the auto industry and capital flight already ongoing. Put on top of that subprime loan shenanigans, resulting foresclosures, evictions, and continued downsizing and outsourcing and you have the the Detroit housing meltdown.

According to the group's website:

• One in nine homeowners nationwide is either behind in mortgage payments or is in foreclosure.

• More than 80,000 homeowners have lost their homes in the Detroit area alone.

• The vacant-home rate in Detroit is 25 percent, second only to New Orleans.

• Michigan leads the nation in foreclosures caused by sub-prime lending coupled with the severe
economic downtown.

• One in every 137 homes in Michigan is in foreclosure.

• Michigan leads the country in unemployment and poverty. (Michigan’s unemployment rate is actually second in the nation after Nevada.)

Moratorium NOW! was formed in the spring of 2008 to fight for the passage of Senate Bill 29, which would stop all mortgage foreclosures and evictions for two years.

Their site (just updated) offers action steps and information on the crisis, related issues, and how you can help and contribute:
http://www.moratorium-mi.org/

For more images of Detroit's structural decay, see this photo essay on Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/26/detroit-decline_n_813696.html#218521

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