• Tell policymakers: The BeltLine should be for ALL Atlantans
    We are in crisis. Atlanta housing costs are on the rise and we are losing affordable units at a staggering rate. Between 2010 and 2014 Atlanta lost 5,300 low cost rental units. Meanwhile, 32,000 people are on the waiting list for public housing. To solve this crisis, we must act now to increase affordable housing supply and protect low-income homeowners and renters. The Atlanta BeltLine was supposed to help with this. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. is a public private partnership launched in 2005. The BeltLine, and its public sector partners and supporters -- particularly the City of Atlanta and Fulton county -- promised that 5,600 affordable units would be built as a part of the project. But almost halfway through its completion, fewer than 1,000 units have been built. Meanwhile, experts estimate that there is need for 10,400 affordable units in the Atlanta BeltLine area alone in the next decade. Not only has the BeltLine failed to build affordable housing, but it has also directly caused housing values near it to rise between 18 percent and 27 percent more than elsewhere in the city. These effects are especially foreboding on the Southside where low-income black communities face the encroaching threat of mass displacement from Beltline development plans that have not even broken ground yet. Neighborhoods along the southwest segment of the BeltLine, which includes Adair Park, Pittsburgh, Mechanicsville, and Westview, saw median sale prices jump 68 percent from 2011 to 2015! With prices on the rise, existing residents will be pushed out. In the Old Fourth Ward where a section of the BeltLine has been completed, we have already seen the destructive reality of mass displacement. The Housing Justice League of Atlanta recently completed a yearlong research project on the human impact of the Atlanta BeltLine, speaking with residents about what this context means for them. Since then we have launched a campaign to turn our recommendations into reality. Pledge your support to the Housing Justice League’s BeltLine for All campaign and tell policymakers you support policies that will ensure development without displacement. Atlanta’s southside communities are fighting for a say in the development process in order to improve and preserve what is best in their communities and stay in the areas they know and love. These neighborhoods have seen broken promises and discriminatory divestment for decades. Recent examples include bypassing community concerns to push through Arthur Blank’s Mercedes Benz Stadium and handing over the redevelopment of Turner Field to Georgia State University and Carter Development without a fair contract with the community in place. “It is time to break this cycle: Communities on the Southside deserve to be a part of the process to shape and determine the neighborhoods where we live,” says Alison Johnson, a Peoplestown resident. Nia Brown, a young adult born and raised in Peoplestown questions the inequitable development process which is currently pushing people out: “I just feel like, why should we have to move outside of our community so that they can make our community better?” Equitability requires low-income residents to be the focus of the project, not an afterthought. The BeltLine development is nearly half done, and its legacy is still up in the air. We need Development not Displacement. It is unconscionable for a city with resources as great as Atlanta’s to stand by and allow the continued extraction of wealth from historically marginalized communities. The City must prioritize human rights and stop funding destructive mega developments with our tax dollars. Renters and low-income homeowners must receive more legal protections and support. We can move forward together and build more just and livable communities. We can heed the warning call of already gentrifying communities to do better for the people living there now and build a BeltLine for All. Gentrification is not inevitable. It is a matter of political will and taking a stand for housing justice. Will you stand with us?
    1,937 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Tim Franzen
  • Atlanta's Renter's State Of Emergency #RenterCrisisATL
    Atlanta is in a renter’s state of emergency. How many of us have engaged in or overheard conversations with folks in our city about the rising rents and rapidly changing face of our city? Development doesn’t have to be a bad word but what we are seeing in Atlanta right now is the kind of development and wealth extraction that will leave Atlanta totally unaffordable for low and moderate income people. In just a few short years the Old Fourth Ward, home of Dr. King, went from affordable to one of the most expensive places to find new housing in the city, we simply can’t afford this kind of status quo development that leaves renters and low income people behind. Some of the report’s findings include: *Since 2012 Atlanta has lost 5% of its affordable housing every year *95% of Apartments built since 2012 have been considered luxury * 72% of Atlanta neighborhoods are considered gentrified or gentrifying * More than 53% of all renters in the city pay more than 30% of their income on housing, yet many landlords require proof that tenant income exceeds 3x rent We need a movement to build a city that works for everyone, and the release of this report will be the launch of a campaign to push the City and County to begin reigning in unchecked development. The campaign will also focus on renter’s rights, as Atlanta is several decades behind other cities of its size. We hope we count on your solidarity! Real full report here: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/oohatl/pages/53/attachments/original/1468328705/RSOE.pdf?1468328705 Sumary page: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/oohatl/pages/53/attachments/original/1468329040/CDPR.pdf?1468329040
    1,205 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Tim Franzen
  • HUD: Donate foreclosed, vacant property to neighborhood organization
    My name is Willie Fleming. For the past several years, I have lived at 1401 E. 75th Street Chicago, IL 60619. I am now writing to you because the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) recently attempted to evict me from my apartment. I and the other tenants that live in this building are seeking to contact HUD to ensure that we can continue to live in this building. In 2007, I began renting this building from one of the former owners, Patricia Hill, with plans to work out of it for at least the next ten years. As soon as I moved in, I did my best to make this place not only a comfortable place for me to live, but also a resource for others in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood. As this is a mixed-use building, with both residential and storefront business space, I took it upon myself to reach out to local residents to see that it be used for programs and activities that benefited children, single parents, and others in need. By the time that I learned that the building had been foreclosed on in 2008, I had signed subleases with several tenants and local organizations. For a period of time, a food give away drive, a young women’s empowerment program, a youth poetry program, and an adult literacy initiative were all being run out of this building to provide services at no charge for those in the community. All of these efforts ground to a halt in March 2010, when Citibank and HUD began their eviction at the building. Even though we had received no notification about the foreclosure, nor were we given an opportunity to present our lease to the new property owner, we faced repeated eviction attempts that disrupted the constructive work we were doing with local residents. In addition to reaching out to the former owner, Ms. Hill, we also attempted to contact her commercial lender, Citibank, but we were unable to make any headway. In January 2014, my subtenants and I were forced to evacuate the property after the new property owner or its contractors had the heat cut off in the middle of winter. Over the next several weeks, we attempted to return to the property but faced the mounting task of repairing the significant damage that had been done to the pipes, walls, and floors after the building was allowed to freeze. By late February, we had been able to secure the property and begin making repairs. This process of making repairs to the property continued until June 2014, when we found that a contractor from Safeguard Properties LLC had, without any notification to use as the tenants, begun removing our items from the property. After notifying the contractor of our tenancy and contacting the police, they were forced to stop, but Safeguard ultimately refused to honor our claim for the items that had been taken from the property. Since August 2014, my subtenants and I have worked to make extensive repairs to the interior and exterior of this building, spending over $20,000 to address the damage done after the heat was cut, the pipes burst. Not only did we prevent it from being left as a vacant property, we also hired local tradesmen to make the repairs and convinced them to hire local youth to learn from them on the job. Ultimately, we hoped that the repairs that were made to this property might serve as an example for other organizations in how to address the growing problem of vacant properties and youth homelessness on the South Side of Chicago. On April 1st, 2016 the Cook County Sheriff executed an old eviction order. However, tenants still remained in the property because they did not have alternative safe, decent and habitable housing. These tenants have documented work on the repairs of this property as well as an extensive documented record of volunteerism with multiple organizations as they battle unemployment and the lack of labor force participation. In spite of these facts, they face continued threats of arrest for trespassing and theft of their property by the property preservation company.
    3,475 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign Picture
    Our struggle is important not just because of our individual struggle as tenants against Barnett Capital, but because of the gentrification of our working class neighborhood of Albany Park. Thousands of tenants have been priced out of our neighborhood due to greedy speculation by corporations like Barnett Capital. Families living in the neighborhood for decades have to move away from their friends and extended family, their children's schools, their social networks, their community centers, their churches, all because of developers’ and speculators’ desire for profit. Because of gentrification, tenants are displaced from the place they call home. By struggling for our right to stay in the neighborhood at an affordable rent, we are forming part of the larger neighborhood struggle against gentrification. The community has power when we organize ourselves! Please join us, ally with us, be in solidarity with us, by signing this petition!
    613 of 800 Signatures
    Created by Antonio Gutierrez
    My name is Rose K. Webster-Smith and I live at 87 Leatherleaf Dr. in Springfield Massachusetts. My husband and I live there with our three children ages 25, 11, and 8. In October of 2011, Freddie Mac foreclosed on my home and sold it back to themselves for half of what we had purchased the property for during the height of housing bubble in 2006. We never made a single payment to the original mortgage company, Merrimack Mortgage, because they immediately sold it after we closed on the home to US Bank Home Mortgage who was the servicer for Freddie Mac. A few years after we bought the house I began to have health issues which inhibited my ability to work. At the same time, during the economic crisis, my husband’s employer began to restrict workable hours for the employees, not allowing any overtime and not issuing cost of living raises for three years. Also during this time, our health care costs went up every year further constricting our income. All of these situations led to us falling behind on our mortgage. We actively pursued getting a modification from US Bank Home Mortgage and we eventually entered into a trial HAMP modification in June 2011 and paid all three of the required trial payments. Unfortunately, when it came time to complete the paperwork to make the trial modification a permanent one, we suffered another life event and were not able to send in the paperwork with certified funds on time. I then contacted US Bank to let them know what had happened and applied for another modification. US Bank never contacted me letting me know that we were missing paperwork for that modification. US Bank never let me know that I had been denied the modification because we were missing paperwork so that I could appeal their decision and get them the missing paperwork. They instead foreclosed in October of 2011. For the last four years, my husband and I have maintained the property. We mow the lawn and trim the vines, rake the leaves to make sure the outside is maintained and looks nice. We maintain the furnace every year and make sure it is cleaned out with new filters each winter season. We make sure that the walk ways, the driveway, and the fire hydrant are shoveled out after each snow storm. We make sure the hardwood floors are polished and well preserved to make it through to another year. We have kept the property as we would have maintained if it were in our name, with love and hard work. Our children know no other place to be there home except this one and all they want is to be able to stay in the house that we have made a home. I am an active member of my community. I volunteer with the Springfield Read Out Loud Program in the elementary schools. I do educational talks and events on Native American Culture in the school classrooms. My home is in between the elementary school that my daughter attends and the middle school that my son attends, allowing me to continue to play an active role in both of their educations. My neighbors and I, all look out for each other and help each other out when anyone has a need in our community. I am a part of the Springfield Bank Tenant Association. We are collectively opposed to the mass evictions being carried out by the banks after foreclosure. They are causing untold suffering to thousands of people and dragging down our communities. We are committed to doing what we have to do to fight against these evictions and the destruction of our communities but we would rather work out an agreement with Freddie Mac.
    3 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Springfield No One Leaves Picture
  • paraplegic Needs His Home
    Access for a wheelchair is important when you have a spinal injury. You need wider doorways to enter, and exit all rooms. You also need bathrooms with showers, sinks and toilets that have been modified to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards, along with ADA kitchens having access to food to be able to prepare meals. Bedrooms also have to be ADA accessible. I tried to stay in some hotels and fit through the front door of the room with my wheelchair, but was unable to fit through the bathroom door in the same hotel room. I have lived in my Berkeley, California home since 1987. I was misled into taking a Country Wide A.R.M Loan. Country Wide said they would give me a better loan in 6 months. They never did give me that loan. Shortly after they went out of business and Bank of America assumed my Country Wide loan. Bank of America told me that they couldn’t honor anything that Country Wide had promised to me. They further said that the only way they could help me is if I defaulted on my loan. I believed them at that time. Then Bank of America said they wouldn’t help me and sold the loan to Ocwen. I submitted all the documents that Ocwen requested, like I had done for all the other lenders and then said they couldn’t help me nor would they accept any monthly payments, only the full sum. Ocwen then sent me referrals to speak to HUD and H.O.P.E. After I filled out their forms, and submitted the required documents I was told that Ocwen didn’t participate in government programs. Ocwen then sold the loan to Fay Servicing. Fay then requested documents from me. I requested an email address to correspond with them but they were hesitant. Like all the other lenders, Fay said that phone calls were the only way I could correspond with them. I did finally manage to receive an email address. I emailed them and asked why the payments were interest only payments. I also asked for an accounting for both the principal and interest payment combined. I never received an answer by either email or phone. The next thing I received was a notice of sale date of my home. My parents always said the bank will help you. Where is that help? It should be a loan requirement (law) that the loan agency provide an impartial lawyer to evaluate the numerous pages of the loan contract, and advise you to accept the loan or not. There should be an acknowledgement within the loan document of this process. Put your money in a credit union. THE BANKS ARE CRIMINAL!!!!!!!!!!
    185 of 200 Signatures
    Created by pete panos Picture
  • Fannie Mae: Keep the McClendon family in their home!
    My name is Arlene Deborah McClendon Richardson. I’ve live at 10008 S. Peoria St., Chicago, Illinois 60643 for 40 years. My siblings, my brother in law, and I now live here and I are seeking to negotiate with the bank to stay in our home that our family previously owned before it was lost to foreclosure. After my father, Lucius McClendon died, my mother Bertha M McClendon decided to obtain a Reverse Mortgage because of an old construction loan. A woman by the name of Marsha E Barrett arranged for my mother to get a Reverse Mortgage with Financial Freedom. Marsha E Barrett negotiated the deal with Financial Freedom. Marsha E Barrett was later indicted for mortgage fraud by the Federal Government. My mother Bertha M McClendon later died in April of 2010. Since then, my siblings, brother in law and I have been trying to purchase our home back. We have gone back and forth to court. During most of the Court Proceedings, we did not have an attorney. During one of our last Court Proceedings, Cordilis & Associates did not follow all of the Foreclosure Steps. They were allowed by the judge to disregard the previous judge’s order, and because of that ruling, the property went straight to foreclosure. Federal National Mortgage Association now claims to own the home and is seeking to evict us from our home. This process has been traumatizing, and stressful to my family. We are a part of this community, we are hardworking, and would like to buy this property at the current real value.
    2,697 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign Picture
  • Bush Company: Stop the Displacement of 302 Families!
    The owners of Museum Square apartments have tried everything to get 302 low-income families, mostly Chinese and African American, to move out and make way for luxury housing. The Bush Company, notorious for the destruction of low income apartments in downtown Washington DC, plans to demolish Museum Square and replace it with 825 high-rise luxury condos for the 1%--exactly what DC does not need, in face of an unprecedented housing crisis. “We are rallying to save our homes,” says resident leader Jenny Tang. “The owner has made plenty of money from us, and can continue to make it without putting us on the streets. We hope the owner will change his mind and preserve our homes for the younger generation, a place to stay for our children, that’s what we want!” First, the owners tried to get around tenants’ opportunity to purchase the 302-unit, building by offering it to residents at a price of $250 million dollars, or $800,000 per unit! When tenants banded together to sue the landlord over this unrealistic price, they were given 180-day notices and told to leave. When a judge ruled in favor of the tenants, agreeing that $250 million is far beyond a reasonable price, the owners gave notice that they plan to end the section-8 contract, which keeps the units affordable for low income tenants. Throughout all of this, tenants have organized and taken every step possible to preserve their homes at Museum Square. Museum Square is home to over half the remaining Chinese population in Chinatown, and many other long-term residents. Chinatown has numerous linguistically accessible services and organizations—churches, clinics, community centers and more—for the Chinese speaking population at Museum Square. Many residents are elderly and would face enormous hardship if they had to move. PLEASE SUPPORT TENANTS FIGHTING TO SAVE ALL 302 AFFORDABLE UNITS IN THEIR BUILDING! SIGN THE PETITION; DEMAND THAT BUSH COMPANIES RENEW!
    2,066 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Tim Franzen
  • HELP: 73 Year Old Veteran with Stage 4 Cancer Being Foreclosed and Evicted
    The last lyrics to our beloved National Anthem, are, “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” It is often said that we are free because of the brave men and women that risk their lives serving in the United States military. My Dad is one of those brave men. During the tumultuous Vietnam era of the 1960s, my Dad admirably served his country and volunteered for the United States army. When his country needed him most, my Dad didn’t run. He stayed and risked his life for a free America. Sadly, now that he needs it most, America isn’t helping my Dad. My Dad is now 73 years old, battling Stage 4 colon cancer, and facing the real possibility of being homeless. Before his diagnosis, he had a mortgage. Banks over-inflated the value of his home, to inflate the market and line their pockets with money that wasn’t really there. Eventually the bubble burst along with the economy and the value of homes plummeted. Like many other Americans, the home he purchased was no longer worth anywhere near the amount of the mortgage. It was during this time that my Dad was diagnosed with cancer, which is a very expensive illness to treat. He could no longer afford to make payments on his home. He went to the bank for assistance, for a loan modification, for something to keep him from being homeless. My Dad wasn’t asking for a free ride. He was only reaching out for some help until he could get his feet back on the ground. Despite his desperate pleas, StateBridge and their investors known collectively as Encore Trust would not help my Dad, instead choosing to rip his house from under him. On June 8th, StateBridge bank and Encore Trust (with the help of the Kendall County Sherrif’s Department) will physically remove my Dad from his home, leaving him homeless. My Dad will not vacate the premises because a soldier doesn’t cut and run. America is free because of brave men like my father. When his country needed him, he didn’t run, he served. Now he needs America. We can not let him down.
    24 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Michael McClead
  • WRI Trying to Evict Single Mother of Eight?!
    Vaniyah Bath-Ammi is a mother of eight children all of whom live with her at 3614 Caseys Cove, Ellenwood, GA 30294. She has lived there with her family since 2009. Her youngest child is four years old. The house her family has rented and lives in was foreclosed and sold on the courthouse steps in March without their knowledge. The family is facing the prospect of being put out on the street at any time. WRI Property Management, a notorious company known for hardball tactics in dealing with foreclosures, is handling the foreclosue/eviction/ dispossessory process. Vaniyah's experience with WRI has been sunch a nightmare that all she wants at this point is time to find a new safe dwelling for her and ger children.
    2,108 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Tim Franzen
  • Don't Allow Abusive Landlords to Illegally Evict Tenants-Support The Trice Family!!!
    My name is Teressa Trice and I am a tenant at 5644 S. Seeley, with my family: three daughters, son, three grandkids, and partner. I have lived here and paid rent for the past 4 years. The house that was recently quit claimed (transferred) by CHASE to Nidia Mejia, whom is now trying to illegally evict me. When I first moved in I was paying rent to a CHASE bank account, payable in the name of Ahkeva Calvert (Loivse Benson/property manager). Then Ahkeva Calvert communicated that all payments were to be made by either Money Order or Cash directly. We paid but did not get a fair return for our rent because the building has needed a great deal of maintenance to remain livable: electrical, heat and plumbing issues. The landlord’s response to these issues was not sufficient. For example, the issue of electrical problems was met with the landlord’s solution to bring lamps and place them in the home even though safety was a serious issue along with other electrical problems. To remain habitable my family has paid for repairs with no reimbursement. However, many issues were not within our price range. Because some of the issues to the home were demanding, costly and dangerous I made the decision to call 311. After contacting 311, an inspector came out and immediately noted there were many different violations that should have been dealt with before occupancy. Then the city notified Ahkeva Calvert to appear in court where the city city placed liens on the property. If this were not enough, in 2014, I found out the home was in the foreclosure. Apparently, the foreclosure started on 5.18.2012. In the four years we have lived here, our landlord never notified us of this. Landlords are mandated to do so. We continued to pay rent. As January ended, an influx of mail addressed to Ahkeva Calvert from CHASE started to come. I called CHASE’s 1-800 number and talked with a representative about the information regarding foreclosure; no one called back for a follow up. Although we did not know this at the time, the landlord apparently ‘corrected the mortgage’ on 6.4.2013, possibly a modification. Following this, on 11.13.14 the city of Chicago used NHS Redevelopment Corporation (housing non-profit) to take my landlord to court for the housing code violations and liens. In the same day, NHS then transferred the certificate of the house to itself for $10. Although this happened in November 2014, it was not recorded by Chicago’s Recorder of Deeds until 12.5.14. Additionally, the Chicago’s Recorder of Deeds documented a deal between the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and CHASE Bank on 12.8.14. This was a deal where HUD quit claimed (transferred) the home to CHASE Bank for $1 on 11.13.14. The next property recording is also 12.8.14 for a transaction that took place on 6.14.2014, where HUD apparently received the property through the Judicial Sales Corporation on 5.24.2014. Hence, CHASE Banks ability to have the property quit claimed to them from HUD. All of this finds its way to 2015, where CHASE then quit claimed the property to Nidia Mejia, my current landlord, for $10. This transaction took place on 3.11.15, but was not recorded until 4.3.15. Starting in the first week of April, Nidia Mejia and company came to my home and threatened me with an illegal eviction: 48 hour eviction notice. She tried to coerce me and my family to sign illegal documentation to get me out. Nidia also calls me from 7:30am-midnight incessantly everyday asking me to leave within 48 hours. Furthermore, Nidia sits out in front of my house, in her car for hours at a time; once she came onto my porch with a crowd of people trying to gain entry. I have had to call the police to get her to leave, on some occasions. All of this intimidation and harassment continues without any court filings for an eviction. But there is no reason to evict me. I pay my rent. I am a part of the community. I even helped clean up the house, as my house was once used as a gang hang out. I fixed that. If I see things wrong, inducing violence, I call the police. My kids are all in school. We are good community members. Please help by signing the petition and passing along!
    1,607 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign Picture
    I am a single mom of minor children. I have been in my home for 19 years. I take care of other children in my home as well. I own a 2 businesses in my home. I have clients everyday. I am working 3 jobs. I am part of the school JA mentoring tutors in my home. I have been paying my mortgage and chapter 13 payments when you illegally wrongfully put my home into sheriff sale and eviction!
    13 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Dawn Pennala
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