Foreclosure continues to plague West Siders (Austin Talks)

By Jessica Wenck 

Imagine coming home from work one day to a note on your front door saying your home was no longer yours because it had gone into foreclosure.

That’s what a 45-year-old West Side woman found this past winter – and she’s been struggling ever since to get answers.

The mother of three said she had no idea what to do when she learned the place she was renting to own was being foreclosed.

“I’m sitting there with family members, and we find this out and we try to call anyone that could help us,” said the woman, who did not want to be identified because she fears getting kicked out of her home.

The 45-year-old woman is one of many West Side residents who’s experienced foreclosure, which continues to be a major problem for Austin.

A recent report by the Lawyer’s Committee for Better Housing lists Austin No. 1 among Chicago neighborhoods for having the greatest number of rental units in foreclosure in 2013. Last year, more than 500 housing units were impacted by foreclosure in Austin and more than 4,600 have gone into foreclosure since 2009.

But things may be looking up.

A new report, released by the Woodstock Institute just last week, shows Austin has seen a drop in the number of foreclosures filed this year compared to 2013. Last year, Austin had 293 properties file for foreclosure during the first six months of the year. During the first half 2014, Austin had 203 properties file for foreclosure – still more than any other Chicago neighborhood.

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