The chairman of the Westside Ministers Coalition and spokesman for the Community Reinvestment Organizing Project (COP) has demanded that Chicago’s Austin community be included as a targeted area to benefit from the $15 million Foreclosure Recovery Program announced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel on August 17, 2011.
According to ChicagoNow.com, Rev. Dr. Lewis Flowers and other Westside Ministers Coalition leaders and clergy immediately began to contact local aldermen to find out why the Austin community is being “left-out.” The Woodstock Institute, a nonprofit research and policy organization, reported that 887 Austin properties went into foreclosure in 2010, second-most in Chicago. The organization also reported in January 2011 that Austin had the fourth-most number of “red flag” properties of Chicago communities, which are “troubled vacant properties where a foreclosure has been filed, but no outcome has been reached.”
The Institute’s report showed that foreclosure problems were largely concentrated on the South and West Sides of Chicago, and foreclosures were much more common in predominantly African-American communities.
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