ACORN Trifecta Week

New Orleans        This has been a big time victory week for ACORN as important announcements and events heralded long, hard work finally coming to fruition in New York, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.  Interestingly, all of these initiatives touched on housing which is a flash point in these three cities and much of America now.

    Starrett City — East New York:
    The big news here in this more than 5000 unit complex which is often hailed as one of the most successful, racially mixed large scale developments in the country was an agreement that rather than the sale simply being a big payday will now assure that it is based on an agreement maintaining the housing as affordable.  This is huge.  The Times was clear about ACORN’s role:  “It’s what we’ve been fighting for for two years,” said Bertha Lewis, executive director of New York Acorn, a community organization that worked with the Starrett tenants association. “This is a model agreement. Finally the tenants at Starrett are actually going to get a very good night’s sleep. No matter who wins the bidding, they know that people have to abide by the rules.”Ms. Lewis said the Starrett agreement could become a model for other subsidized housing complexes that are up for sale.”

    Lennar Vote — San Francisco:
    61% of San Francisco’s voters pulled the lever in a low turnout (28%) election in favor of Proposition G, based on the commitments made by Mimai-based developer to ACORN, the San Francisco Labor Council, and the local PICO affiliate to provide 35% affordable housing and a range of other support and training programs.  This development when it moves forward in southeast section of the city near Hunters’ Point and Candlestick Park will create more than 10,000 units of housing and 8,000 jobs.  The affordable units meet a desperate need in this “executive” city.  The popular blogsite, Beyond Chron, argued that the success of this measure was in fact directly due to the ability to create this coalition of support and assure the public that it would work.

    Philadelphia Foreclosure Relief Plan: 
   Yesterday city officials announced that Philadelphia would in a nationally precedent setting move would require any home set for a sheriff sale to be sent over to city officials to negotiate with the lenders and servicers to see if the loan can be modified or restructured in order to allow the homeowner to retain the property.  Mayor Michael Nutter announced the $2 M program this week.  Once again from the Times:  “About 1200 foreclosure sales scheduled for April and May have been delayed until July to give borrowers more time to negotiate.  About 800 of those properties are owner-occupied, said Ian Philips of the community advocacy group, ACORN, which helped to structure the program.”

Starrett City
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