Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fannie Mae, America's newest slumlord?

From the Facebook action page:

"Three families, including 11 children have been renting the Fannie Mae owned property at 1139 E. Adams Blvd. for as many as 9 years. Five months ago, Fannie Mae foreclosed on the rental property and took control of the rental units. Since then Fannie Mae has let the building fall into further disrepair and has refused to make repairs or restore utilities for tenants. The electricity has been turned off for seven months, leaving children in the dark. There are holes in the floors and walls, broken windows, a rat infestation, and mold in the walls, all of which have contributed to prolonged illness among the children.

Earlier this week, Fannie Mae announced that it would be inviting bids from investors to buy packages of foreclosed properties to be offered as rentals and may become an equity partner in the deal. Fannie Mae reports that 85% of its foreclosed properties are currently occupied by renters. As the number of foreclosed properties has risen, tenants in these properties have been left to fend for themselves often they are left living in dangerous slum conditions as banks refuse to make needed repairs and as structural problems worsen. Fannie Mae has yet to say if or how it will ensure that rentals are up to code and eradicate slum conditions in the property, as well as ensure that current tenants are not displaced from their home.

Tenants have filed complaints with the City of Los Angeles’ Housing Department and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, but both agencies have failed to require the bank to make repairs to the home. 'This is unconscionable, Fannie Mae has become Los Angeles’ newest slumlord by failing to make necessary repairs to this property. The conditions these families are living in are deplorable. The City and County need to protect families and hold the big banks accountable in order to put a stop to the growing slum housing crisis in Los Angeles,' said Paulina Gonzalez, Executive Director of the tenants’ rights organization, SAJE (Strategic Actions for a Just Economy).

Join tenants, local community organizations, and representatives from the press to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!" 

Two years ago almost to the day, Fannie Mae asked for $15.3 billion. 

In today's paper, they are asking for $4.6 billion. 

Scratching my head..."BILLION"!

It is always good to see camera crews at a foreclosure action. Here's hoping that each attending channel will host a story:
Noticias 62
Metro Network
and more! 

Channel 2/9 did a story, showing the holes in the bathroom floor! 

KPCC as well:

Channel 7: 

And at a location in Oakland, California, the same type of story! 

Almost complete video of all of the presentations:

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Nancy H. Ibrahim, MPH, of the Esperanza Community Housing Corporation: 

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Frighteningly, we learned that cockroaches sometimes nest in infants' ears as they cannot wipe them away. 

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There are unknown molds growing, and the tenants worry there is asbestos in the crumbling ceiling:

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They have been using a generator for electricity as Fannie Mae will not reply to their inquiries about payment.

Windows have broken and are taped over with paper:

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The above-linked CBS video has a shot of a hole in the bathroom floor, where rats are getting in.

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Again, crossing fingers that all of these folks will get the story out. Thank you for being there.

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At the end of the block exists clear evidence that things are only becoming more difficult:

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