For the last 6 months, Right To The City Homes for All Partners, and our allies at the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) have led a broad coalition to stop the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)'s Distressed Asset Stabilization Program (DASP) from selling homes to Wall Street firms, through their bulk sale of delinquent mortgages.
While exposing the problematic activities of private equity firms like Blackstone, now the largest landlord of single-family housing in the country, we have simultaneously been calling on HUD to prioritize selling troubled mortgages to non-profits who have programs that offer loan modifications with principal reduction and affordable housing plans for vacant properties.
HUD announced in late April 2015 that they are making many of the changes we asked for:
• The creation of special auctions for nonprofit bidders only;
• a 12-month foreclosure moratorium on all loans sold through the program;
• higher standards for loan modifications; and
• a 20-day first look period in which owner occupants, government entities, and nonprofits have the opportunity to buy.
The campaign included petitions and local actions in cities like Boston, Atlanta, Minnesota, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
We must not let up now. We must ensure that HUD implements these new changes. HUD must create more permanently affordable rental housing through donating their homes and selling them significantly below market rate to nonprofits and community land trusts. Read more about our framing of the issues and demands in our report- Vulture Capital Hits Home- How HUD is Helping Wall Street and Hurting Our Communities.
Now, let's build on this progress!
HUD is one government agency. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is another. They oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fannie and Freddie are also selling off pools of delinquent mortgages. Now we need to get the head of Fannie and Freddie to make the changes that HUD made, and more!
Go to RTTC website to take action and contact the FHFA Director, Mel Watt, to build off this momentum and protect our communities from Wall Street now! http://www.righttothecity.org/