Economic Justice for All!
Recently, I've been working on the campaign of Mark Winston Griffith, who is running for City Council here in New York. One of Mark's areas of expertise has to do with Economic Justice, specifically with Foreclosure prevention. Anyone who was paying attention last fall as the economy headed south heard phrases like "sub-prime mortgages" and "predatory lending", but those were financial problems targeting the folks on the edge of the economy, right? Well, organizations like the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP), and the Eviction Intervention Service have been seeing a huge uptick in a different type of clientele: the former healthily middle classed suddenly find themselves in trouble.
According to that New York Times article, organizations used to working with working class familys suddenly find themselves inundated with formerly middle class or rich.
The benefit of the doubt is there for some...
Landlords typically start nonpayment proceedings in housing court after a few months of missed rent, depending in part on a tenant’s previous payment history; the goal is usually not eviction. “It’s not about, ‘If you don’t have the money, get the hell out,’ ” Mr. Nahins said. “It’s about, ‘Look, we want to work it out.’ Nobody wants vacancies in high-end apartments.
...in a place where the poor might not get that leeway. Regardless of the flexibility being shown by the renters or the mortgage, it's a classic case of "until it happens to you": people who were never aware of the foreclosure battle are suddenly on the front lines. Here's a great chance to acknowledge the hard working folks, like Mark (yup, I'm a homer, but the statement is still valid!), who have been working to keep people in their homes and realize their part of the American Dream. They'll still be there after the economy re-tracks, and they will still be standing up for people being unfairly evicted... its just that it won't be in the news anymore.