A single mom, Nicole just completed a degree in early childhood development at the local community college. She has been patching together part-time work around her studies and Joe’s schedule. Until 2009, Nicole and Joe lived in a poor neighborhood in Baltimore. Now they’re in Columbia, Md., half an hour away by car, but a world away in terms of opportunity.
At Joe’s former elementary school in Baltimore, 97 percent of the students are low income, and 97 percent are African-American. His middle school in Columbia is one-third low income, with white, Asian, Hispanic and multiracial students making up just over half the population.
In their old Baltimore neighborhood, Nicole says, she saw a man get shot in the leg in front of a corner bar as she held baby Joe in her arms.
posted by josher71
on Feb 6, 2014 -
Mortgage fraud, faux-democracy and escrache in Spain.
Those unfortunate enough to lose their homes are also burdened with a debt for life.
Anatomy of an ‘escrache
Spanish banks repossessed 30,000
family homes in 2012 and those who take part
in doorstep protests may face fines of up to 6,000 euros in Madrid.
Between 2002 and 2008 an average of 754,000 new homes were built in Spain every year. It is currently estimated that up to 6 million homes remain vacant.
posted by adamvasco
on Apr 14, 2013 -
Rebecca Solnit on how Silicon Valley corporations are transforming San Francisco: I weathered the dot-com boom of the late 1990s as an observer, but I sold my apartment to a Google engineer last year and ventured out into both the rental market (for the short term) and home buying market (for the long term) with confidence that my long standing in this city and respectable finances would open a path. That confidence got crushed fast. It turned out that the competition for any apartment in San Francisco was so intense that you had to respond to the listings – all on San Francisco-based Craigslist of course, the classifieds website that whittled away newspaper ad revenue nationally – within a few hours of their posting to receive a reply from the landlord or agency. The listings for both rentals and homes for sale often mentioned their proximity to the Google or Apple bus stops. [more inside]
posted by liketitanic
on Jan 31, 2013 -
In China, people are being evicted from their homes
at an alarming rate, according to a recent report
by Amnesty International. Eager to spur economic development, local Communist Party officials have used violence and intimidation to force people out of their homes and farmland, including employing private gangs to attack residents who won't comply with eviction orders. In Hebei Province, however, one father-and-son duo, both devotees of Bruce Lee and facing a gang of over 30 men outside their house, decided to fight back--and won
. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead
on Dec 3, 2012 -
posts incredulous commentary about outrageously overpriced real estate listings in Toronto. Look at the run-down bungalows -- in North York
! -- listed for a million dollars and despair. Canada's housing bubble
, on full display. Via Maclean's
posted by mcwetboy
on Jan 30, 2012 -
"Completed in 1954, the 33 11-story buildings of the Pruitt-Igoe housing development was built as an attempt to address the housing crisis the poor faced in St Louis, Missouri. Only twenty years later, at 3pm on the 16th of March, 1972, the buildings were leveled, declared unfit for habitation because of unsafe and unsanitary conditions, coupled with rampant crime. The story of Pruitt-Igoe is a tragic urban fable, a complicated and loaded story of ambition, hubris and failure." (src)
"The Pruitt-Igoe Myth"
is a documentary directed by Chad Freidrichs that dives into the complex history of the famed housing project (YouTube or Vimeo trailer)
. RustWire has an interesting interview
with the documentary's creator. More information from Architizer
, Homo Ludens
, and Magical Urbanism
. Be sure to check out the collection of pictures from the area and from the documentary in the creators' Flickr stream
. [via Archinect and Mefi Projects] [more inside]
posted by spiderskull
on Feb 28, 2011 -
Earlier this week, Toxie, NPR's cutest toxic asset died
. One of the mortgages bundled into this asset was an investment property in Bradenton, Florida, which, like many Florida homes, has never been occupied or served as anything other than a financial instrument. Boston.com's Big Picture recently took a look from above
at the effects that this (and previous) housing bubbles have had on the development of Florida's cities and landscapes. How do you design a city that nobody plans to live in? (Previously
posted by schmod
on Oct 1, 2010 -
Before they foreclose on your house why don't you get back at the bastards by stripping the place
. There are consequences
. "Lawyers who represent people facing foreclosure advise them that whatever's nailed down generally stays with the house."
posted by Xurando
on Sep 12, 2010 -
When he was 32
, his life seemed hopeless. He was bankrupt and without a job. He was grief stricken over the death of his first child and he had a wife and a newborn to support. Drinking heavily, he contemplated suicide. Instead, he decided decided that his life was not his to throw away: it belonged to the universe. Buckminster Fuller embarked on "an experiment to discover what the little, penniless, unknown individual might be able to do effectively on behalf of all humanity." If the architect, author, designer, inventor, and futurist Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller
were still alive, he would be 115 years old today. Though he died in 1983, his legacy grows on through recordings of his ideas
and the Buckminster Fuller Institute
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Jul 12, 2010 -
Mortgage financing giant Fannie Mae announces
policy changes designed to encourage borrowers to "work with their servicers and pursue alternatives to foreclosure"...and threatens borrowers with new penalties for strategic default. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus
on Jul 1, 2010 -
Betting Against the American Dream
. In 2005, just as Wall Street started to get cold feet about the housing market, the Magnetar
hedge fund helped create a new wave of billion-dollar mortgage-backed securities, pushed bankers to include riskier sub-prime mortgages, and then shorted the securities, making millions when the bubble finally burst. Traders on both sides of the deals pocketed enormous fees even if their banks went under when the securities failed. Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica
, This American Life
, and NPR's Planet Money
track down some of the big winners in the housing/financial crisis. No time to read or listen? It seemed so much like a scheme from The Producers
, they even recorded a show tune to explain it all
posted by straight
on Apr 15, 2010 -
, the low-income community grassroots organisation, is set to close by April 1st
, citing "a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded, right-wing attacks that are unprecedented since the McCarthy era". Meanwhile the New York Times has issued a correction
on the stories which led to the 87-3 vote to remove ACORN's Federal funding (previously
), admiting that "while footage shot away from the offices shows one activist, James O'Keefe, in a flamboyant pimp costume, there is no indication that he was wearing the costume while talking to the Acorn workers."
posted by Artw
on Mar 22, 2010 -
The Donald Sterling Rule
"Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lives by his own rules. And the only one that matters, apparently, is this: all bad deeds go unpunished
. Over the last six years, nearly two dozen L.A. residents have sued Sterling for engaging in racist housing practices and Jim Crow-style bigotry. In a 2003 deposition, the 76-year-old real estate mogul admitted to paying a former employee to have sex with him in an elevator. Three years ago, the U.S. government charged him with "willful" mistreatment of African-American and Latino tenants, and earlier this month, he agreed to pay the Dept. of Justice nearly $3 million to settle a federal racial-discrimination housing lawsuit, the largest award ever for a case of its kind." So why, asks California's Tenants Together
, has the NBA said nothing about Sterling's less than sterling behavior
? [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco
on Nov 27, 2009 -