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A Look at the 2017 Foreclosure Market and the Future in 2018

MIAMI, Nov. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The following is an analysis on the 2017 foreclosure market and the future in 2018 from BankForeclosuresSale.com.

With 2017 coming to an end, real estate investors and homebuyers alike are taking a look back at the development of the foreclosure market over the past 10 months. They’re also turning their attention to the 2018 market, with a focus on market trends, recent changes in real estate law, and if the political landscape will have any impact.

“It’s important for real estate investors and homebuyers to have a clear understanding of the foreclosure market, as past data and current trends can have a big impact on future decisions,” said Simon Campbell, Foreclosure Specialist of Bankforeclosuressale.com. “Even when the market appears to be steady, one thing we’ve seen in the past is that things don’t always stay the same for long.

According to ATTOM Data Solutions, a provider of publicly recorded tax, deed, mortgage and foreclosure data, there were 424,800 foreclosure filings on United States properties during the first six months of 2017, signifying a decrease of 20 percent from the same period of 2016.

While the overall national trend was a decrease in foreclosure filings, some states and cities bucked the trend with an increase in activity. Here are some key data points provided by ATTOM:

  • Eight states, along with Washington, D.C., saw a year over year increase in foreclosures during the fix six months of the year.
  • Washington, D.C. experienced the largest increase, with foreclosure activity jumping 60 percent over the previous year.
  • Of the 217 metropolitan areas included in the report, 28 experienced an increase in foreclosures, with Oklahoma City leading the way at 22 percent.
  • New Jersey had the highest foreclosure rate during the first half of the year, with 0.99 percent of properties with a foreclosure.
  • The highest metro foreclosure rates belong to Atlantic City, New Jersey at 1.71 percent of properties, followed by Trenton, Philadelphia, Chicago and Pennsylvania.

Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions, added the following in regards to the market in general:
“Although foreclosures are fading overall, there has been a notable an uptick in foreclosures completed by some non-bank entities — counter to the sharp downward foreclosure trend among big banks and government-backed loans.”

2018: A Big Year for the Real Estate Market
The Great Recession finally came to an end in 2009, after millions upon millions of Americans were forced into foreclosure.

According to Fannie Mae, the waiting period following a foreclosure is seven years, with the agency noting the following: “A seven-year waiting period is required, and is measured from the completion date of the foreclosure action as reported on the credit report or other foreclosure documents provided by the borrower.”

With this seven-year period coming to an end for those who faced foreclosure toward the end of the Great Recession, there’s reason to believe that the real estate market could pick back up.

Campbell said, “There’s no way of knowing if these buyers will dip their toes into the homeowner pool once again, but the possibility is definitely there. This alone could have a big impact on the real estate market as a whole in the year to come.

To learn more about the foreclosure listings market or to search for foreclosed homes please visit Bankforeclosuressale.com online. 

Media Contact:
Simon Campbell
Email: rel=”nofollow”scampbell@bankforeclosuressale.com

http://www.bankforeclosuressale.com

Related Links

Fannie Mae

ATTOM Data

View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/a-look-at-the-2017-foreclosure-market-and-the-future-in-2018-300559292.html

SOURCE BankForeclosuresSale.com

Article source: http://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/A-Look-at-the-2017-Foreclosure-Market-and-the-Future-in-2018-1001549139

An Affordable Housing Movement Is Rising from the Wreckage of the …

Friday, Nov 17, 2017, 11:08 am

BY Michael Arria

Email this article to a friend

On January 16, 2017 in New York, N.Y., the Citywide Alliance Against Displacement held a rally at City Hall to demand Mayor de Blasio step down for promoting racist rezoning plans that target communities of color and to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.s legacy of ghting against racial and economic injustice all over the country. (Photo by Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)  

In late September, activists staged actions in 45 cities to draw attention to predatory rent practices and vast cuts to Housing and Urban Development funding. “Renters Week of Action” was partially inspired by a report put out by the Right to the City Alliance (RTC) highlighting solutions to the problems tenants now face after the foreclosure crisis.

“The majority of all renters pay an unaffordable rent,” Darnell Johnson of RTC told In These Times. “Eviction, rising rents and gentrification are racial, gender and economic violence harming our people.”

The coordinated actions stem from a long history. The rent control movement gained momentum during the late 1970s and early 1980s, spreading beyond New York City and taking hold in California. In 1978, California voters approved Proposition 13, which lowered property taxes throughout the state.

Many believed that the savings would mean lower home prices and rents. But almost 40 years later, California is a symbol of the era’s failed optimism. The median California house costs 2.5 times more than the median national house, and rents are some of the highest in the nation. Cities throughout the country have now experienced decades of gentrification from a real estate industry consistently looking for ways to subvert the few remaining housing protections that exist for tenants.    

Over the last few years, housing activism has boomed—a trend that transcends the issue of rent control through its focus on halting gentrification and protecting low-income people of color from displacement. This work is even more important in the era of Trump, as the GOP is actively pushing a tax plan to benefit the richest members of U.S. society. House Republicans just passed a tax plan that will cut corporate rates down to 20 percent while increasing taxes for households that make between $10,000 and $30,000 a year.

The movement has taken hold throughout the country, and it’s recently chalked up a number of important victories. After activists staged a hunger strike in San Jose, lawmakers approved some of the strongest renter protections in the nation. Seattle’s city council was pushed to end housing discrimination against formerly incarcerated individuals. Earlier this year, New York became the first city to guarantee attorneys for low-income renters facing eviction.

One group with a track record of effective strategy is the Minneapolis-based Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia. Organizer Roberto de la Riva told In These Times that the group has a direct-action approach to combating his city’s housing crisis. The racial breakdown of housing in Minneapolis is stark: Most people of color rent, while most people white people own homes. He spoke of Latino residents being fined hundreds of dollars by landlords for opening their windows during the winter—and being forced to pay their rent via money order.

“As an organization that works with directly-affected tenants in the most affordable housing in Minneapolis, we see first-hand the amount of power that landlords hold over tenants,” said de la Riva. “They can intimidate freely without anyone holding them accountable and use the system for their business model. Because of the lack of effective organizing and renter protections like rent control, and just cause protection against eviction, landlords get free reign in the city.”  

“When we organize with tenants against their landlords,” he added, “we are able to break down fear and isolation, equalize power relations and move tenants to defend their rights to negotiate with the landlord on renters’ terms.”

One of the most effective ways Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia has fought for tenants is through the acquisition of pro-bono attorneys to fight for renters in court. This method has led to a major rent return lawsuit, charging two Minneapolis landlords with hiding their ownership of properties from the city and purposely suppressing the costs of repairs for financial gain. If successful, the lawsuit could financially benefit thousands of Minnesota residents. “It could be the largest case in terms of damages and rent refunds in U.S. history,” housing attorney Larry McDonough told The Star Tribune. “I could not find a single class action around the country that had this kind of price tag on it.”

De la Riva said tenants and activists are up against powerful, moneyed interests in Minneapolis.

According to advocates, this trend extends nationwide, “Entire communities and cultures are being erased by aggressive development,” Johnson underscored. “We’re occupying their offices, taking back our communities and escalating. Because this isn’t a game. We’re fighting for our lives, our communities and our futures.”

In Boston, 2016 saw an uptick in resistance to predatory rent practices, with activists fighting for “Just Cause Eviction” rules that would prevent landlords from evicting tenants for improper reasons. Through organizing, communities advanced the Jim Brooks Community Stabilization Act, a piece of legislation that has already cleared Boston’s city council and will now make its way to the state legislature. If passed, the act would require landlords with more than six units to provide a reason for evicting a tenant—and mandate that they report the eviction to the city. The city would then be required to notify the tenant of their rights as a renter.     

Ten miles outside of downtown Boston is the city of Lynn, where an organization of local residents is fighting back against unjust evictions and foreclosures. Lynn United for Change’s Isaac Simon Hodes told In These Times that unaffordable rent is a massive problem in the city, and the group is committed to working with homeowners.

“We bring together homeowners facing foreclosure and tenants facing eviction because all of these battles are part of the broader struggle to defend the human right to housing,” said Hodes, “Whether it’s big banks that are foreclosing or corporate landlords that are causing displacement, we’ll only be able to challenge the damage they’re doing to our communities by building a strong and broad movement for housing justice.”

Last year, Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy declared that the city already had enough affordable housing but needed more rich residents for economic expansion. “Lynn has more than its share of affordable housing right now,” said Kennedy. “We have exceeded the goal, and one of the things that Lynn needs to succeed in is its long-term economic development is to have people with disposable income in the mix of the housing that we offer.”

During “Renters Week of Action,” Lynn United for Change members occupied a development site demanding that affordable housing be included in a new set of waterfront apartments. “We do not oppose development,” reads the petition that activists passed out during the event on September 26. “We want to see our city grow and improve. But new development will only be good for the people of our city if it takes our needs and concerns into account and does not push out current residents.”

Article source: http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/20699/affordable-housing-tenant-organizing-renters-foreclosure-crisis

Turns Out, The Drever Has Been Posted for Foreclosure

After news broke on Monday that Drever Capital Management was in default for a $55 million loan to renovate the 1401 Elm building downtown, it turns out, the building has been posted for foreclosure.

Public filings show that the 52-story former First National Bank tower will be sold at auction on Dec. 5, following default of its loan from GCP Income Opportunities in April. This foreclosure record was filed Monday, the same day as a public record stating that the loan’s original trustee had been replaced with a substitute, an administrative step often indicating foreclosure is on the horizon. D CEO obtained the notice of foreclosure document on Friday.

From the notice of substitute trustee’s sale record: “Notice is hereby given that on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 … the substitute trustees will commence the sale of the property, in parcels or as a whole, at public auction to the highest bidder …”

Though Drever Capital Management statement on Monday did not directly address the foreclosure, a Drever spokesperson reiterated that same statement on Friday in regards to the foreclosure.

“We remain in ongoing discussions with the lender. While we are on track in closing new financing, construction continues and we are looking forward to completing construction on schedule in 2019,” the statement said.

Article source: https://www.dmagazine.com/commercial-real-estate/2017/11/turns-out-the-drever-has-been-posted-for-foreclosure/

Tallying the Foreclosure Damage

Delinquency rates experienced an increase in Q3 2017 for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties, according to the MBA’s National Delinquency Survey. At a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.88 percent of all loans outstanding, the rate was up 64 basis points from Q2 2017 and 36 basis points higher from Q3 2016.

Foreclosure action starts represented 0.25 percent of all loans in Q3, a one basis point decrease from the previous quarter and five basis point decrease from a year ago.

According to Marina Walsh, MBA’s VP of Industry Analysis, Q3 2017 Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused disruptions and destruction in numerous states. Florida, Texas, neighboring states, as well as devastated Puerto Rico, saw substantial increases in their past due rates.

“In future surveys, we may see a temporary drop in foreclosure starts in hurricane-impacted states due to storm-related foreclosure moratoria, as was seen during Hurricane Katrina in 2005,” Walsh said.

The seriously delinquent rate, which combines loans that are 90 days or more past due with those loans in the process of foreclosure, was 2.52 percent in the third quarter, up 3 basis points from the previous quarter, but 44 basis points lower than one year ago.

Mortgage delinquencies increased on a seasonally adjusted basis. The FHA delinquency rate increased to 9.40 percent from 7.94 percent in the second quarter, a 146 basis-point increase and the highest quarter-over-quarter increase reported in the history of our survey.

Other delinquency increases included conventional (3.97 percent in Q3 2017, 3.47 percent Q2 2017), and VA (4.24 percent in Q3 2017, 3.72 Q2 2017).
“While the storms played a critical factor in explaining the rise in the overall delinquency rate, there are other factors to consider, especially given delinquency rate increases in other states not directly impacted by the storms,” Walsh said.

The first factor noted was the timing issues associated with the last day of the month being a Saturday. Second, delinquency rates were already at historic lows in Q2 2017.

Meanwhile, other considerable factors include seasonality, rising loan-to-value and debt-to-income ratios for certain product types, normal loan aging, and declining average credit scores on new FHA endorsements since 2014 as the agency has withdrawn from its counter-cyclical role during the crisis.

Article source: http://www.dsnews.com/daily-dose/11-17-2017/tallying-foreclosure-damage

Tallying the Foreclosure Damage – DSNews

Delinquency rates experienced an increase in Q3 2017 for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties, according to the MBA’s National Delinquency Survey. At a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.88 percent of all loans outstanding, the rate was up 64 basis points from Q2 2017 and 36 basis points higher from Q3 2016.

Foreclosure action starts represented 0.25 percent of all loans in Q3, a one basis point decrease from the previous quarter and five basis point decrease from a year ago.

According to Marina Walsh, MBA’s VP of Industry Analysis, Q3 2017 Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused disruptions and destruction in numerous states. Florida, Texas, neighboring states, as well as devastated Puerto Rico, saw substantial increases in their past due rates.

“In future surveys, we may see a temporary drop in foreclosure starts in hurricane-impacted states due to storm-related foreclosure moratoria, as was seen during Hurricane Katrina in 2005,” Walsh said.

The seriously delinquent rate, which combines loans that are 90 days or more past due with those loans in the process of foreclosure, was 2.52 percent in the third quarter, up 3 basis points from the previous quarter, but 44 basis points lower than one year ago.

Mortgage delinquencies increased on a seasonally adjusted basis. The FHA delinquency rate increased to 9.40 percent from 7.94 percent in the second quarter, a 146 basis-point increase and the highest quarter-over-quarter increase reported in the history of our survey.

Other delinquency increases included conventional (3.97 percent in Q3 2017, 3.47 percent Q2 2017), and VA (4.24 percent in Q3 2017, 3.72 Q2 2017).
“While the storms played a critical factor in explaining the rise in the overall delinquency rate, there are other factors to consider, especially given delinquency rate increases in other states not directly impacted by the storms,” Walsh said.

The first factor noted was the timing issues associated with the last day of the month being a Saturday. Second, delinquency rates were already at historic lows in Q2 2017.

Meanwhile, other considerable factors include seasonality, rising loan-to-value and debt-to-income ratios for certain product types, normal loan aging, and declining average credit scores on new FHA endorsements since 2014 as the agency has withdrawn from its counter-cyclical role during the crisis.

Article source: http://www.dsnews.com/daily-dose/11-17-2017/tallying-foreclosure-damage

City to sell properties from springtime ‘mass foreclosure’ – messenger

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Article source: http://www.messenger-inquirer.com/news/local/city-to-sell-properties-from-springtime-mass-foreclosure/article_fac3dfa5-fc83-55d5-9b2a-4215e83c27c6.html

Turns Out, The Drever has Been Posted for Foreclosure

After news broke on Monday that Drever Capital Management was in default for a $55 million loan to renovate the 1401 Elm building downtown, it turns out, the building has been posted for foreclosure.

Public filings show that the 52-story former First National Bank tower will be sold at auction on Dec. 5, following default of its loan from GCP Income Opportunities in April. This foreclosure record was filed Monday, the same day as a public record stating that the loan’s original trustee had been replaced with a substitute, an administrative step often indicating foreclosure is on the horizon. D CEO obtained the notice of foreclosure document on Friday.

From the notice of substitute trustee’s sale record: “Notice is hereby given that on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 … the substitute trustees will commence the sale of the property, in parcels or as a whole, at public auction to the highest bidder …”

Though Drever Capital Management statement on Monday did not directly address the foreclosure, a Drever spokesperson reiterated that same statement on Friday in regards to the foreclosure.

“We remain in ongoing discussions with the lender. While we are on track in closing new financing, construction continues and we are looking forward to completing construction on schedule in 2019,” the statement said.

Article source: https://www.dmagazine.com/commercial-real-estate/2017/11/turns-out-the-drever-has-been-posted-for-foreclosure/

Aspen Club faces second foreclosure action

The general contractor overseeing the redevelopment of the Aspen Club has taken legal action to collect nearly $19 million it is owed on a mechanic’s lien.

Denver firm PCL Construction Services Inc. launched litigation against the Aspen Club after business-hours Wednesday in Pitkin County District Court.

PCL is attempting to foreclose a $17.7 million lien it filed against the Aspen Club on Sept. 26. The total principal on that amount now stands at $18.8 million, according to the complaint. The filing of a mechanic’s lien is the first step a contractor takes to collect on a debt when it is not promptly paid.

PCL also filed a breach-of-contract claim against the fitness and residential club.

“PCL is entitled to foreclose its lien and sell the Property,” the complaint says.

Along with Aspen Club and its affiliates, PCL’s complaint also identifies numerous subcontractors who are lienholders — nearly two full pages in its complaint — and other parties as defendants.

PCL is making a run at a foreclosure through the judicial process, while FirstBank began foreclosure proceedings last week through the Pitkin County Treasurer’s Office. FirstBank, which holds the deed of trust on the Aspen Club Property, claims it is owed $30 million on a $45 million loan Aspen Club took out in May 2016.

“We were ready to wait awhile to let Michael Fox (owner of the Aspen Club) to get recapitalized,” said PCL regional manager Michael Harms, adding that “our foreclosure is in response to FirstBank’s action last week.”

Unlike traditional litigation, the defendants in PCL’s case, aside from the Aspen Club and its associated parties, are not liable for any damages, two lawyers knowledgeable of the case said Thursday.

“Anyone with an interest in that property, whether it’s a bank or a subcontractor, they have to be a party to that case,” Aspen attorney Jeff Wertz said.

Wertz, on behalf of Basalt-based Smuggler Finishes, filed a mechanic’s lien for $25,730 against the Aspen Club on Oct. 2. Smuggler Finishes is run by John Pulman, who said the amount owed to him isn’t much compared to what others are seeking.

“I’m just a small tadpole,” he said.

Since the filing, Wertz and Pulman have forwarded the matter to Glenwood Springs attorney Mike Sawyer, who said he has taken on seven or eight additional lien claimants in addition to the Glenwood Springs-based Gould Construction Inc., which filed a $1.7 million mechanic’s lien Sept. 25.

“In a mechanic’s lien foreclosure action, you are required to name all of the parties that have a recorded interest in the property, so that means what PCL filed will essentially name every sub that’s owed money on that project,” Sawyer said.

Aspen Club has until Feb. 20 to file a notice of intent to cure its debt to FirstBank. The earliest date a foreclosure sale could occur is March 7.

Fox, who could not be reached for immediate comment Thursday, previously has said he is working on a plan to pay back the contractors and the bank and bring the project back up to speed. Numerous subcontractors stopped work at 1450 Ute Ave. at the end of August. Harms said PCL is expected to finish winterizing the site Friday to preserve its integrity until construction — provided the debt-collection matters are settled — resumes.

“There is a lot of positive sentiment that the project will continue this spring,” Harms said.

The Aspen Club closed in April for the redevelopment project, which calls for a remodeled 40,000-square-foot Aspen Club Spa building. Also included is a 54,000-square-foot lodge with 20 timeshares, which comprises 36,000 square feet of townhouse units and 18,000 square feet of club units. Another 13,600 square feet of development would account for 12 multi-family affordable-housing units.

The timing of when the construction began and when Aspen Club received the FirstBank loan are relevant because of which parties will receive preference in collecting their debts, said Sawyer, adding he believes construction work began first. Once the dirt is dug at a project site it’s considered the beginning of construction activity for all involved, Sawyer said.

If that is the case, PCL and the subcontractors would gain priority in collecting what they are owed, he said.

“PCL, I suspect, will seek an injunction against the public trustee (the county treasurer) from processing the foreclosure until the court has ruled on the priority of the mechanic’s liens,” Sawyer said. “The court may say these mechanic’s liens have higher priority than (FirstBank’s) deed of trust.”

If Fox’s assertions that the debts will be paid off before FirstBank takes the Aspen Club to a foreclosure sale, all of that won’t matter. But the litigation and liens are the course of doing business for now, Sawyer said.

“There are a lot of people in the valley who on faith and credit added value to that property,” he said. “And if there isn’t a refinance or some way to work this out where all the contractors get paid, that property will provide the basis for them getting paid.”

rcarroll@aspentimes.com

Article source: https://www.aspentimes.com/news/local/aspen-club-faces-second-foreclosure-action/

An Affordable Housing Movement Is Rising from the Wreckage of the Foreclosure Crisis

Friday, Nov 17, 2017, 11:08 am

BY Michael Arria

Email this article to a friend

On January 16, 2017 in New York, N.Y., the Citywide Alliance Against Displacement held a rally at City Hall to demand Mayor de Blasio step down for promoting racist rezoning plans that target communities of color and to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.s legacy of ghting against racial and economic injustice all over the country. (Photo by Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)  

In late September, activists staged actions in 45 cities to draw attention to predatory rent practices and vast cuts to Housing and Urban Development funding. “Renters Week of Action” was partially inspired by a report put out by the Right to the City Alliance (RTC) highlighting solutions to the problems tenants now face after the foreclosure crisis.

“The majority of all renters pay an unaffordable rent,” Darnell Johnson of RTC told In These Times. “Eviction, rising rents and gentrification are racial, gender and economic violence harming our people.”

The coordinated actions stem from a long history. The rent control movement gained momentum during the late 1970s and early 1980s, spreading beyond New York City and taking hold in California. In 1978, California voters approved Proposition 13, which lowered property taxes throughout the state.

Many believed that the savings would mean lower home prices and rents. But almost 40 years later, California is a symbol of the era’s failed optimism. The median California house costs 2.5 times more than the median national house, and rents are some of the highest in the nation. Cities throughout the country have now experienced decades of gentrification from a real estate industry consistently looking for ways to subvert the few remaining housing protections that exist for tenants.    

Over the last few years, housing activism has boomed—a trend that transcends the issue of rent control through its focus on halting gentrification and protecting low-income people of color from displacement. This work is even more important in the era of Trump, as the GOP is actively pushing a tax plan to benefit the richest members of U.S. society. House Republicans just passed a tax plan that will cut corporate rates down to 20 percent while increasing taxes for households that make between $10,000 and $30,000 a year.

The movement has taken hold throughout the country, and it’s recently chalked up a number of important victories. After activists staged a hunger strike in San Jose, lawmakers approved some of the strongest renter protections in the nation. Seattle’s city council was pushed to end housing discrimination against formerly incarcerated individuals. Earlier this year, New York became the first city to guarantee attorneys for low-income renters facing eviction.

One group with a track record of effective strategy is the Minneapolis-based Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia. Organizer Roberto de la Riva told In These Times that the group has a direct-action approach to combating his city’s housing crisis. The racial breakdown of housing in Minneapolis is stark: Most people of color rent, while most people white people own homes. He spoke of Latino residents being fined hundreds of dollars by landlords for opening their windows during the winter—and being forced to pay their rent via money order.

“As an organization that works with directly-affected tenants in the most affordable housing in Minneapolis, we see first-hand the amount of power that landlords hold over tenants,” said de la Riva. “They can intimidate freely without anyone holding them accountable and use the system for their business model. Because of the lack of effective organizing and renter protections like rent control, and just cause protection against eviction, landlords get free reign in the city.”  

“When we organize with tenants against their landlords,” he added, “we are able to break down fear and isolation, equalize power relations and move tenants to defend their rights to negotiate with the landlord on renters’ terms.”

One of the most effective ways Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia has fought for tenants is through the acquisition of pro-bono attorneys to fight for renters in court. This method has led to a major rent return lawsuit, charging two Minneapolis landlords with hiding their ownership of properties from the city and purposely suppressing the costs of repairs for financial gain. If successful, the lawsuit could financially benefit thousands of Minnesota residents. “It could be the largest case in terms of damages and rent refunds in U.S. history,” housing attorney Larry McDonough told The Star Tribune. “I could not find a single class action around the country that had this kind of price tag on it.”

De la Riva said tenants and activists are up against powerful, moneyed interests in Minneapolis.

According to advocates, this trend extends nationwide, “Entire communities and cultures are being erased by aggressive development,” Johnson underscored. “We’re occupying their offices, taking back our communities and escalating. Because this isn’t a game. We’re fighting for our lives, our communities and our futures.”

In Boston, 2016 saw an uptick in resistance to predatory rent practices, with activists fighting for “Just Cause Eviction” rules that would prevent landlords from evicting tenants for improper reasons. Through organizing, communities advanced the Jim Brooks Community Stabilization Act, a piece of legislation that has already cleared Boston’s city council and will now make its way to the state legislature. If passed, the act would require landlords with more than six units to provide a reason for evicting a tenant—and mandate that they report the eviction to the city. The city would then be required to notify the tenant of their rights as a renter.     

Ten miles outside of downtown Boston is the city of Lynn, where an organization of local residents is fighting back against unjust evictions and foreclosures. Lynn United for Change’s Isaac Simon Hodes told In These Times that unaffordable rent is a massive problem in the city, and the group is committed to working with homeowners.

“We bring together homeowners facing foreclosure and tenants facing eviction because all of these battles are part of the broader struggle to defend the human right to housing,” said Hodes, “Whether it’s big banks that are foreclosing or corporate landlords that are causing displacement, we’ll only be able to challenge the damage they’re doing to our communities by building a strong and broad movement for housing justice.”

Last year, Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy declared that the city already had enough affordable housing but needed more rich residents for economic expansion. “Lynn has more than its share of affordable housing right now,” said Kennedy. “We have exceeded the goal, and one of the things that Lynn needs to succeed in is its long-term economic development is to have people with disposable income in the mix of the housing that we offer.”

During “Renters Week of Action,” Lynn United for Change members occupied a development site demanding that affordable housing be included in a new set of waterfront apartments. “We do not oppose development,” reads the petition that activists passed out during the event on September 26. “We want to see our city grow and improve. But new development will only be good for the people of our city if it takes our needs and concerns into account and does not push out current residents.”

Article source: http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/20699/affordable-housing-tenant-organizing-renters-foreclosure-crisis

Vacant downtown skyscraper put up for sale following foreclosure

The largest skyscraper in St. Louis, formerly known as One ATT Center, is on the market after being foreclosed on.  

The vacant 44-story office tower in the heart of the city’s central business district downtown was put up for sale Thursday by brokerage NAI Global without an asking price. 

The 1.4 million-square-foot property at 909 Chestnut Street, designed by architectural firm HOK, was built in 1986. The property is being marketed as a “trophy office asset,” due to its size and exterior signage opportunities. 

The structure takes up an entire city block and is St. Louis’ largest office building in terms of square footage but is only the second tallest, trailing the Metropolitan Square building at 211 N. Broadway. It’s the third tallest structure in the city, with the Gateway Arch taking the top spot. 

In September, about 2,000 ATT employees vacated the 909 Chestnut building, which previously housed the corporate headquarters for SBC Communications. The company moved its headquarters to San Antonio in 1992 and ATT’s lease for the building expired this year. Two skybridges that linked to other buildings where ATT has employees downtown, 801 Chestnut and 1010 Pine Street, were recently taken down. 

The 909 Chestnut building, previously owned by Chicago-based InvenTrust Properties Corp., was placed into receivership earlier this year after U.S. Bank National Association Trustee sued its former owner and seized the building. 

The tower, with an appraised value in 2017 at $93.4 million, has 80 underground parking spaces, a full cafeteria floor, three elevator banks, floor-to-ceiling windows and a four-story atrium lobby. Excluding the lobby and other common areas, the rentable space totals 1.174 million square feet. 

“The property offers a new owner the rare and unique opportunity to re-purpose the building for a more contemporary office use, or into a wide array of alternative uses to service the growing and dynamic St. Louis metro area,” according to NAI Global. 

In its brochure, NAI Global cites $1 billion in planned development downtown, including apartments and hotels. Some of that development could serve as competition for office tenants, however. 

A $260 million second phase of nearby Ballpark Village, for example, is slated to include the addition of the first new office building downtown in three decades at the corner of Clark and 8th Street near Busch Stadium. 

The former ATT tower is among the buildings St. Louis officials included to be considered in a proposal submitted to Seattle-based Amazon, which is conducting a search throughout North America to open a second headquarters with 50,000 employees. The e-commerce giant isn’t expected to announce its selection until 2018. 

Article source: http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/vacant-downtown-skyscraper-put-up-for-sale-following-foreclosure/article_9a0207c8-3ae6-5cad-940d-61aaaadfb2b3.html