The tour showed three bank-owned foreclosed homes that are in serious disrepair and demonstrated that big banks are hurting local communities by failing to maintain their foreclosed properties.
Under city law, which SEIU 721 members helped to pass two years ago, Los Angeles can fine banks up to $1,000 a day for failing to maintain foreclosed homes. Yet the city has not enforced the law. Experts say failure to do so is costing the city almost $145 million in lost revenue.
: A slideshow of the Big Bank Blight Tour
Blighted homes devastate property values, invite vagrants and generally destroy neighborhoods,” said Jacob Miller, an animal care technician who went on the Blight Tour. “It’s time for banks to pay what they owe and take responsibility for the activity that goes on in their foreclosed homes.”
Miller points out that enforcing the blight ordinance would bring much needed revenues to the city. “Mayor Villaraigosa is calling for layoffs and there’s $145 million being left on the table. It doesn’t make any sense,” he said.
In Los Angeles, 19,000 families are in some state of foreclosure. Most of their homes are owned by the Wall Street banks that crashed our economy.
: Are there abandoned bank-owned homes in your neighborhood? Join our Blight Squad! Sign up to take action here.
: Residents say Big Bank Blight is ruining their neighborhoods.
View Media Coverage:
LA Times: Foreclosures and resulting blight infest once-safe neighborhoods
Our Weekly: Blighted-home tour show why ‘banks make bad neighbors’
KPFA: Foreclosed Properties Featured In L.A. “Blight Tour”
LA OPINION: Casas embargadas son un gran peligro