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Housing

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    Foreclosure

    The foreclosure crisis has hit the Oakdale neighborhood hard.  The Community Research Institute recently
    issued a report showing Oakdale with one of the highest foreclosure rates in the city: 30% of properties
    between 2004 and 2011. A foreclosure means that someone trying to buy a home has lost it. Foreclosures
    reduce property values and the tax base necessary for city and county services and programs, like fire,
    police, road repair and community health.  Foreclosed properties are often vacant for long periods of time.
    They deteriorate quickly, foster neighborhood blight, and promote crime.

    Oakdale Neighbors is partnering with Foreclosure Response so that neighbors can learn more about how
    foreclosures are effecting the neighborhood and what actions we can take. An article in the Grand Rapids
    Press describes this organizing and mobilization effort.

    Foreclosure Response is a coalition of more than 30 non-profits, lending institutions and governmental
    representatives working to reduce the number of foreclosures in Kent County and develop measurement
    tools to gauge the current and future impacts of foreclosure in Kent County. The coalition will provide
    services and self-help tools available to homeowners to prevent foreclosure and avoid predatory lenders
    and other scam artists.  These goals will be met by going door-to-door to provide educational materials for
    GR residents, launching a county-wide community education campaign and helping residents organize to
    advocate for housing policies and legislation that improve our financial stability and quality of life in Kent
    County.

    People who have missed even one mortgage payment should not wait to seek help -- those who
    act sooner rather than later have a much higher success rate.  Contact Home Repair Services, a
    non-profit organization, at 241-2601.  HRS housing specialists provide FREE assistance to help
    homeowners work with lenders for a positive outcome.  HRS also links homeowners with other
    organizations that can assist them.  

    For more information about Foreclosure Response or to get involved in this effort, contact Kym Spring at
    ForeclosureResponse@gmail.com or by phone, 401-0680.