Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fair Lending Block Party

Hi Frogtowners! Last Wednesday, Sam, Needham, and our foreclosure prevention coalition put on a great event on the 500 block of Charles Avenue.  The Twin Cities Daily Planet wrote up an article about how we're fighting back against foreclosure--check it out!

At the block party, volunteers collected audio stories of how vacancy has affected residents and encouraged residents to take pictures and write what they want to tell banks, absentee landlords, and speculators about how the vacancy problem is hurting the block.
Our intern Needham walked the street with neighbors, recording stories about each vacant house, who lived there, and what happened since the families were foreclosed on.  The stories are going to be made available online soon and will be joined by more stories, pictures, and letters as residents continue to host fair lending block parties throughout the fall.
Needham and longtime resident Liz Colwell talking about the history of the block.

 If you want to host one on your block, we would love to make that happen. Please, contact us.  The block party includes several ways residents can engage and help us create a media campaign we will use collaboratively to put pressure on banks, the city, absentee landlords, and speculators:
  1. Take a picture in front of the vacant building on your block with what you want to say about it.
  2. Write a letter about your experience with the vacancy and foreclosure problem
  3. Record your story of the block.
  4. Eat ice cream and talk to neighbors 
  5. Join the rapid response team: a group of residents who are willing to call, email, and write to banks when banks refuse to work with neighbors having trouble with mortgage payments.
  6. Install property information signs in front of vacant buildings--which bank foreclosed, who owns it now, and how to contact that entity.

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