A Change in Approach Could Ease Housing Crisis

The United States is on track to experience a record number of foreclosures this year and could break another record in 2011, says columnist Ezra Klein, who lists four ideas housing industry experts are weighing as they attempt to jump-start a struggling market.

One is to revamp the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) to empower housing counselors to modify mortgages using a standard formula, rather than leaving this task to the banks.

Second, banks could be given an incentive to participate in HAMP by empowering bankruptcy judges to modify the principal on mortgages.

Third, experts say that making mediation programs a mandatory requirement will give banks an opportunity to meet with every distressed home owner, look through the papers, consider the nuances of the situation, and make a good-faith effort to work out an arrangement.

And fourth, right-to-rent programs could be expanded for foreclosed home owners — like the one operated by Fannie Mae, which lets home owners rent their homes at fair-market value for five years.

Source: Washington Post, Ezra Klein (10/15/10) 

© Copyright 2010 Information Inc.
 

My neighborhood.. My neighbors..

.. today I lost something very important. So important, it warranted an email throughout my community for neighbors to help me search for it.  I have never felt so empowered within a community as I do in West End and Westview.   The amount of support, i.e. phone calls, emails, visits i received today was very over whelming…. to know that neighbors left their homes- went into the rain and got in their cars just to search- was heart felt.

 Thank You!!!

I can not stress this enough- if you are looking for a supportive, safe environment to live- you will find it HERE!  Come see what we have to offer.

www.WestviewAtlanta.com  and www.AtlantaWestEnd.com

City Council Needs to Hear from You!

Thanks to Patrick and Steffi Berry/concerned residents of Westview for developing the below message and site. Let’s be heard Atlanta!!! Read on and DO something:

“Last Thursday, March 26th 2009, the Zoning Review Board voted to approve the Supportive Housing Ordinance (Z-08-48). The ordinance basically grants supportive housing operators the ability to operate without a special use permit, and therefore abolishing the vote by the NPU required to open a facility. This ordinance will grant the operators the ability to still operate with special uses – such as higher occupancy rates.

The NPUs have not been engaged in the process, and at the hearing not one resident or homeowner spoke in favor of the ordinance. The proponents were all developers and people who stand to gain financially by easing up the rules.

The ordinance will grant all the power to the Mayor’s office through a certification process. The certification requirements they were presenting at the hearing were less than a page long. It will without a doubt be exploited.

Please take a moment and fill out the form on http://www.npuvoice .org/to contact your council member. They need to hear from you on this matter!

Also, please note that everybody is in favor of having some type of supportive housing. This isn’t a battle against the homeless. It is a battle to make sure the NPUs and you continue to have a voice.”

For us to be so unhappy- why do I find this report hilarious??

10 Unhappiest American Cities
No sun, no jobs and lots of foreclosures. This can be a recipe for unhappiness.

Not surprisingly, some cities whose residents struggle with lots of these issues also have high levels of suicide, clinical depression, divorce and violent crime.

BusinessWeek.com ranked 50 of the largest metros based on their misery and depression levels. The depression scoring is based on insurance reporting. The rest of the rankings come from the National Assembly of County & City Health Officials, FBI crime reports, the U.S. Weather Bureau and the U.S. Census.

While it’s not clear that the recession has made these social issues worse – most of these cities had these problems before the economy headed south – and economic woes certainly can’t be helping.

Here are the top 10 most depressed cities.

  1. Portland, Ore.
  2. St. Louis
  3. New Orleans
  4. Detroit
  5. Cleveland, Ohio
  6. Jacksonville, Fla.
  7. Las Vegas
  8. Nashville, Tenn.
  9. Cincinnati, Ohio
  10. Atlanta


Source: BusinessWeek.com, Prashant Gopal (02/26/2009)