Saturday, August 25, 2012
Occupy Our Homes Atlanta has been successfully defending families and churches from eviction and foreclosure, but we realize that we need a movement on a scale that brings relief to not just a few people, but to everyone.
Today at a Town Hall meeting organized by Occupy Our Homes ATL residents in distress and community leaders launched a campaign against what has emerged as the two greatest obstacles to mass principle reduction and community control of land in our communities--Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac.
Residents came from all over the metro area to share their stories, get inspired by others who have stood up to the banks, and learn the role Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac play in the housing crisis.
The fact is the Fannie and Freddy own upwards of 60% of every mortgage in the Country. Many are unaware that, for the most part, the big banks are simply servicers of these loans. So Frannie and Freddy can keep up the appearance of being helpful towards home owners in distress while foreclosing and eviction whole neighborhoods at the same time.
Frannie and Freddie(F&F) director Edward DeMarco was recently given the opportunity to give an across the board principle reduction to F&F homeowners. Despite receiving very strong pressure from President Obama and the less than progressive Timothy Giethner, DeMarco has refused to reduce principle for anyone struggling, which ensures that the hardest hit communities will remain under hostage by the financial institutions that crashed the economy.
It get's worse ya'll. Freddie and Frannie have been reluctant to sell any of the tens and thousands of vacant homes they've been sitting on to regular people. They will however sell to Hedge Funds and Wealthy investors at twenty cents on the dollar. That means that regular folks, who are struggling more then ever, are getting pushed out of their homes because they can't afford the inflated prices their under the lash of. Once they're evicted the home is boarded up, creating another depressing crime magnet in the neighborhood, and the super rich are invited to purchase the home for a price that the struggling homeowner could have potentially easily paid.
So today's town hall got us all pumped up to take on F&F. September 10th we take the fight to their doorstep in Buckhead. Underwater homeowners, renters, and the homeless busing in from Orlando, Miami, Chattanooga on September 10th with at least four demands:
-Principal Reduction for all underwater homeowners to real market value
-An end to Fannie and Freddie Evictions, and the right to rent after foreclosure
-The sale of foreclosed properties to occupants and non-profits at the same discounted rate
they are offering to shady investors
-That they turn over vacant and abandoned properties to community controlled entities to provide long term affordable housing
Here's a facebook link to the September 10th Action
Feel free to forward the event, we need to break the culture of shame and silence in the South and begin to direct the shame in the correct direction, the very institutions that not only caused the economic crisis, they continue to profit of the broken dreams of others.
American Friends Service Committee is proud to be a part of this effort, providing key infrastructure, access to training, and other resources.
American Friends Service Committee