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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Tue Jul 9, 2013

Bank Of America Customers Seek Loan Modifications Amid Whistleblower Scandal (VIDEO)

In light of recent whistleblower allegations from former employees detailing Bank of America’s purported loan modification and foreclosure abuses, protesters descended upon a downtown Chicago branch Tuesday.

Organized by Action Now, two members of the grassroots community organization sought loan modifications from bank officials while a gathering of roughly two-dozen protesters marched and chanted outside.

“We’re trying to put pressure on the bank to do what they’re supposed to do — they’re supposed to help homeowners,” said Tim Rivard, foreclosure outreach coordinator for Action Now. “If we get the bank to start working with us, or working with people who are in trouble with their mortgages, this could set a good precedent.”<--break->

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Jul 1, 2013

Vacant Building Registries Lack Key Data, New Report Shows

Local municipalities should ramp up vacant–building data collection to help address a problem that continues to ravage Chicago–area communities due to the foreclosure crisis, according to a new report from the Woodstock Institute.
The "Deciphering Blight" report looked at the wide–ranging data that 47 local governments in the Chicago six–county region currently collect through their vacant property registries.
According to the report, a majority of the local governments kept thorough data on the parties responsible for vacant buildings. And more than half kept track of a property’s unique identifier like a PIN number.
But more than half of the municipalities did not collect data on the nature of the vacancy, and many vacant building registries lacked other key information. 
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Jun 27, 2013

Housing Costs Severely Burden Millions Of Americans, Reaches A Record High

The U.S. housing recovery is gaining traction due in part to an increase in multi-family housing construction and rising home prices, according to the annual State of the Nation’s Housing report released Wednesday by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

Despite areas of improvement, the report found that millions of American homeowners are still late on mortgage payments or owe more than what their homes are actually worth, and low-income households face continued challenges finding affordable housing.

The number of Americans shouldering severe housing cost burdens has also set a new record, according to the report.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Jun 11, 2013

Report Reveals 1 In 5 Schools Considered 'High-Poverty'

About one in five public schools was classified as high-poverty in 2011, according to a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics.

In comparison, about one in eight schools was considered high-poverty in 2000. Schools are labeled high-poverty when 75 percent or more of the enrolled students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

Over the past two decades, the percentage of school-age children living in poverty has also increased, according to the report, “The Condition of Education 2013." 

“If poverty is increasing, there should be an increase in support for education, and instead our education policies nationally and locally are going the opposite direction,” said Pauline Lipman, professor of educational policy studies and director of the Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
Fri May 17, 2013

Englewood Renters Left Without Electricity, Gas Due To Foreclosure: 'We Were Left In The Dark' (VIDEO)

Eight members of the Shaw family, including a 14 month-old baby, have been living without gas or electricity for nearly a week, according to parents Shantisha and Ezekiel. Late last year the Shaw’s landlord was foreclosed upon and Freedom Mortgage Corp. took over the deed for the building. We talked to the Shaw family about their struggles and what may be next for the family affected by the ongoing foreclosure crisis in Chicago.