Posts about Foreclosure
By Norma Rodriguez | November 14, 2012 |
Thank you! A year of hard work ended in victory yesterday, when the San Diego City Council approved an ordinance that will help make banks clean up their blighted foreclosures.
The 5-3 vote to pass the Property Value Protection Ordinance (PVPO) was a win for neighborhoods, homeowners and taxpayers throughout the city. It requires banks to register with the city and pay a $76 fee whenever they take action to foreclose a home.
The registry makes it possible to immediately identify the bank responsible for a blighted property, and the fee revenue will increase code enforcement staff to hold banks accountable for neglected properties.
More than 70 other cities in California have enacted similar registries. In San Diego, where there still are about 7,000 foreclosures a year, it is the last piece of a three-policy package that sets responsible banking standards and fines for abandoned properties that are left blighted.
CPI’s report last year, Foreclosure: The Cost Communities Pay, estimated that each abandoned property costs local governments between $5,000 and $34,000 in police and fire calls, inspections and maintenance. Besides saving those costs, the new policies will help stop the slide in property values of neighboring homes, which has cost San Diego homeowners an estimated $19 billion.
The leadership of Council Member David Alvarez, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), and support from many other groups made the Property Value Protection Ordinance possible. And several council members last night noted the impressive community involvement in the PVPO. Whether you signed a petition, attended a meeting or donated to our campaign, this is your victory!
Thank you for working to put San Diego neighborhoods first!
Normita Rodriguez, Organizer, and the entire CPI staff
By Crystal Page | November 8, 2012 |
Over the last year, many of you have worked with Center on Policy Initiatives, ACCE, the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, AFSCME and many others to fight bank foreclosure blight here in San Diego. The last necessary piece to a comprehensive foreclosure ordinance that will enable the City to hold banks accountable for blighted homes will come before City Council on Tuesday!
The Property Value Protection ordinance will create a registry of foreclosed homes and creates new staff positions that will allow code enforcement officers to spend more time dealing with blighted homes.Join us Tuesday, November 13th@ 6pm to help pass the first pro-neighborhood ordinance in the new San Diego that will give all neighborhoods a fair shake.
By Crystal Page | May 24, 2012 |
San Diego Councilmember David Alvarez on efforts to fine banks if they neglect homes to ensure homes are well maintained.
The Property Value Protection Ordinance, sponsored by Councilmember David Alvarez was highlighted on the “Willis Report” on Fox Business National. During the interview, Councilmember Alvarez did an excellent job of highlighting the blight issue as a result of banks not maintaining homes that they foreclose on. These vacant homes are a problem for communities because they lower property values and become health and safety issues. Data from the CPI and ACCE Report, “Foreclosure: The Costs Communities Pay” was highlighted during the show, including the estimated loss to local governments: $134 million-$855 million. These problems are the responsibility of the banks to maintain and not our local government!
Fox also highlighted the poll we did in April showing 70% of San Diego voters favor this ordinance (see below).
To recap, the Property Value Protection Ordinance would:
- create a registry of homes in foreclosure to track banks that own foreclosed homes
- and fine banks up to a $1000 a day, if they fail to maintain foreclosed homes up to code
We applaud [San Diego] City Attorney Jan Goldsmith for his plans to hire a foreclosure and loan-modification scams investigator (Business, March 24). This is one way to protect families and our neighborhoods from the terrible impact of the foreclosure crisis and may indicate that the city of San Diego is starting to address this crisis.
A report released last year by the Center on Policy Initiatives and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, “Foreclosure: The Cost Communities Pay,” found that foreclosures are costing San Diego taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars for inspections, maintenance and police and fire calls at distressed properties. Blighted foreclosures also dramatically lower surrounding property values.
Councilman David Alvarez has proposed a solution to address this issue: the Property Value Protection Ordinance. It would hold banks accountable by requiring them to publicly register all foreclosures. Then, if the banks don’t bring abandoned properties up to code, they would be fined $1,000 a day for leaving the homes in disrepair.
Similar ordinances have been enacted in 75 California cities and are helping relieve the taxpayer costs of banks’ neglect. In Chula Vista, for example, the cost-recovery funds brought in enough money to hire five new code inspectors.
San Diego homeowners and neighborhoods need relief right now. We have an opportunity to protect neighborhoods from the most irresponsible banks. That’s why we are urging the Land Use and Housing Committee to move this ordinance forward and into law. – Gabriela Castellaños, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, and Norma Rodriguez, Center on Policy Initiatives
By Susan Duerksen | March 8, 2012 |
People whose neighborhoods have been left blighted by foreclosures joined with CPI and our ally ACCE yesterday to urge the San Diego City Council to consider our proposed ordinance to crack down on the banks.
Norma Rodriguez of CPI appeared on local TV news last night to explain the need and the solution. Watch her here and see an example in City Heights of the hazards created by abandoned foreclosures.
The Property Value Protection Ordinance would help clean up neighborhoods and recover taxpayer costs by fining banks $1000 a day when they fail to properly maintain a foreclosed property.
A report released last year by CPI and ACCE, Foreclosure: The Cost Communities Pay, found that besides lowering nearby property values, blighted properties cost local governments millions of dollars for maintenance, public safety calls, and other code enforcement.
Click here to contact the City Council’s Land Use and Housing committee and urge them to take up and approve this reasonable solution.
By Xavier Leonard | February 21, 2012 |
For the February meeting of A Better San Diego’s breakfast forum, Corinne Wilson joined Dave Lagstein of ACCE to share facts aout the devastating impact of the Foreclosure Crisis.
Read the news article about the meeting here.
As “Occupy Wall Street” protests continue in San Diego and other cities across the nation, it is important to bear in mind the real costs of Wall Street’s recklessness on our communities. Almost 50,000 homes have been foreclosed in the city of San Diego since the start of the mortgage financial crisis in 2008. And new data released last month by DataQuick suggest that this number is continuing to grow at an alarming rate. These foreclosures, as documented in a recent report from the San Diego-based Center on Policy Initiatives and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, have imposed significant and uncompensated costs on families and communities, well and above the financial losses faced by banks.
Much policy attention has been given to the impacts of this crisis on Wall Street – including mortgage lenders and investors in mortgage-backed securities who have received the lion’s share of federal bailouts. In that context, the financial and emotional losses to homeowners have often been minimized, if not justified, by narratives of fraud and irresponsibility. But when homes are lost to foreclosure, the entire community suffers: homeowners and their families, as well as neighbors, local governments, schools and businesses.
As foreclosed homes lose almost a fourth of their monetary value, surrounding properties follow suit, decimating home equity across neighborhoods. CPI and ACCE estimate that, in the past five years, almost $20 billion in property values have been lost in the city of San Diego alone. Because home equity is the major – if not the only – form of wealth held by average American families, this decline in property value has substantial negative effects on the resources available for retirement, education, medical care and other expenses.
Contrary to popular belief, renters are not shielded from these downward trends. When property values and expenditure decline, unemployment and underemployment increase, cutting across the entire population. In addition, as the tax base is eroded, local tax revenues decline, making it difficult for local governments to address mounting needs. Abandoned foreclosed properties alone impose significant costs to the city in the form of maintenance, inspections and public safety monitoring. Combined with the loss of property tax revenues, these costs add up to almost $1 billion. The resulting fiscal pressures challenge the ability of local government agencies to provide basic services like parks, libraries, fire and police.
Unlike financial institutions, cities and families have not been protected from the reckless decisions of mortgage companies, banks and investors. Policy change at the federal level is slow to come and has had practically no impact in the low-income and minority communities where foreclosures are concentrated and their impacts most severe. Today, the costs associated with predatory lending and other reckless financial practices of Wall Street are being felt throughout the region. Financial institutions responsible for foreclosed properties must be held accountable. Our City Council can do its part to protect our communities by supporting the Property Value Protection Ordinance, which would require banks holding foreclosed properties to register the properties with the city, and puts in place fines that penalize those failing to register and maintain their properties.
This is a straightforward and pragmatic way of holding Wall Street accountable to our communities.
Joassart-Marcelli is an economic geographer at San Diego State University.