US foreclosure, delinquency rates rise in minority communities
“It’s just really frustrating and I was hoping, if I just come to DC and speak with the people in power, that maybe, they can do something,” said Kimmie Blake between tears.
Blake has been under immense pressure for the past two years. On top of having her child, she has been on the verge of going homeless. The banks will not refinance her home. She is yet another victim of foreclosure in the US.
She decided to turn to NACA, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America for help. The non-profit community advocacy conducted its annual "Save the Dream Tour" conference in Washington, DC. The conference is geared toward helping struggling homeowners.
When NACA workers could not broker a deal with the bank, Kimmie came to Capitol Hill, in a last attempt to save her home by seeking help from her Senator, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York.
Benjamin Codoe, one of NACA’s national coordinators told RT, "We hope that the Senator is going to make a call the servicers so they can restructure her loan.”
Blake shared her experience trying to contact her elected representatives for help, “The State senator’s office, and they are saying the district office handles that, and when I speak to the district office, they pass me off, and it’s really frustrating.”
A single mother's dreams and entire communities are in limbo in parts of the country where foreclosures continue to sky rocket under the Obama administration.
US President Barak Obama has introduced a number of incentives, such as the Home Affordable Modification Program, to assist minority communities, but statistics show even those initiatives fall short of saving the most vulnerable communities in the country from going homeless.
According to CoreLogic, an online tracking poll, since President Obama took office foreclosure and delinquency rates in the Washington DC area have risen from 4.7 percent to almost 8 percent. A separate study filed by the Center for Responsible lending found Black and Hispanic homeowners were 76 percent and 71 percent more likely to go into foreclosure than whites, and blacks and Latinos with the highest incomes were 81-94 percent more likely to face foreclosure.
The rate of urban gentrification in the city where Obama now calls home has become so severe that lifelong residents of the district have taken over this patch of land that has been designated for developers.
One Washington, DC resident participating in the Tent City project said, “What we are trying to do is get the administration to understand that affordable housing is needed here, there are too many people in D.C. that are trying to pay their mortgage.”
This is where NACA steps in.
NACA national coordinator Codoe confirms, “Our mission is to save neighborhoods, and that is what we do.”
“This will let the President know that there are average Americans who work every day and our houses are too expensive,” said one protestor outside the Washington Convention Center as President Obama’s motorcade approached.
But even as African Americans demand Obama take more action to help the communities who backed him by 80 percent during the 2008 election, their anger does not fully reflect.
Here at a protest against Obama, demonstrators – mostly black – still flash photos and clap for the President.
As sign that the endurance in minority communities remains, even though the housing crisis is hurting them the most.