Wednesday, February 8, 2012
It's still bad news on foreclosures
From the NY Times:
To walk 145th Street in South Jamaica, past red-brick homes with metal awnings and chain-link fences, is to find a storm of immense destructive power still raging.
Three years ago, when I wandered this block south of Linden Boulevard in Queens, banks had foreclosed on eight homes. In the years since, banks have filed notice against a half-dozen more owners. Some of those homes sit abandoned, plywood boards nailed across doors and windows, as if to guard against further spread of this plague.
We are accustomed to hearing politicians talk of a halting recovery from the recession. They detect heartbeats in the job market and flickers of life in house sales. New York and New Jersey, our governors proclaim, are on the comeback trail.
A dozen miles from Midtown Manhattan, the foreclosure belt stretches across the heart of black homeownership in this city, from Canarsie and East New York in Brooklyn, to Springfield Gardens and St. Albans, Queens, where Fats Waller, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald once owned handsome Tudor-style homes.
Black Americans came late to homeownership for reasons deeply rooted in our tragic racial history. Black New Yorkers making more than $68,000 are nearly five times as likely to hold high-interest mortgages as whites of similar income, and their default rates are much higher. Now a generation watches as its housing wealth is vaporized.