Recent posts by Administrator
Vacant, abandoned properties have significant costs on communities by causing blight , lowering surrounding property values, and attracting crime. The foreclosure crisis continues to add to the inventory of vacant homes, particularly in low-wealth communities and communities of color. Our recent study estimates that vacant and abandoned homes in the foreclosure process could cost the City of Chicago up to $36 million a year. The best way to reduce the impact of vacant homes on neighborhoods is to keep families in their homes in the first place, but responsible stewardship of the properties is necessary whenever homes become vacant.
The results of the financial “stress tests” conducted banking regulators offers about as clear a picture of the stability of the nation’s largest financial institutions as we are likely to get. With the removal of at least a bit of uncertainty about the future of individual financial institutions, there is a real opportunity to turn public attention towards the future of the regulatory landscape for the financial services sector as whole. Woodstock believes that this future should offer increased transparency, stronger accountability to public financial services needs, and a minimum safety standard for financial products.
Chicago – With growing pressure for stronger oversight of federal investments in major financial institutions and the results of the stress tests made public, community advocates throughout the Chicago region met at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to ask the next big question–when will lending and investment in low-wealth communities pick up?
As a major tax refund lender seeks to change charters, the Office of Thrift Supervision needs to hold a hearing to give the public a chance to tell its side of the story about high cost refund anticipation lending.
For many Chicago households, affordable housing is rental housing. In 2007, over 35 percent of the foreclosures filed in the City of Chicago affected buildings with rental units. These foreclosures put increased strain on the rental market by displacing current renters from foreclosed properties and taking foreclosed multi-family properties out of the supply of rental units.
Thousands of taxpayers loaded up on debt early this year
using a new variation of tax refund loan available in mid-November often called
a holiday loan. Based on a taxpayers projected tax and calculated using tax
information printed on their pay stub, these pre-filing season refund loans
cost low-income taxpayers millions and often lock them into additional tax
refund loans or other unnecessary and expensive tax preparation products. But there is good newsall three national
banks, which funded the loans offered by storefront tax preparers such as
H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt, announced that they would not offer these
types of loans next tax season.