Apr. 2, 2008
Saying that lawmakers on both the federal and state level have not done enough to stem the worsening tide of foreclosures, state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson filed last week a triad of bills that would put in place a 180-day moratorium on foreclosures resulting from "unfair" subprime loans, give tenants four to six months relief from eviction and provide for a foreclosure judicial process. Read more
Short-selling, foreclosure sales, a buyer's market and worse have continued downward pressure on housing sale prices in Dorchester through the fall and winter months, particularly in the multi-family market. Some are selling for a fraction of what they did just two or three years ago.
The more desirable neighborhoods - just about everything along the MBTA's Red Line--are the least affected, say brokers, with other areas to the west - without subway connections--in a virtual freefall. Read more
When it comes to property owners around Hendry Street in Dorchester, Leonard Habiyakare, Jr. is an exception. While some have sold out over the past few years and others succumbed to foreclosure, Habiyakare has been struggling to keep his three-family house, which is at the end of the street. With help from ACORN, he managed to get his mortgage modified, but he still has trouble finding tenants. Read more
A Brockton woman was only a month behind on her mortgage payments in November when her son, who was the only one home at the time, received the vacate order.
A day and a half later, the impending foreclosure was reversed, thanks to officials at the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC), which works to develop affordable housing and owns about 700 units. Read more
If there's anything too hopeless for President George W. Bush's foreclosure prevention plan, it's the "contractor special" near Codman Square in Dorchester. Located in a three-decker on Whitfield Street, it helps explain why, as Mayor Thomas Menino pointed out, the resetting of adjustable mortgages to higher interest rates is only one link in the sub-prime chain-reaction. Read more
For two hours one night last week, a red Zipcar crisscrossed Dorchester, heading through Uphams Corner, Codman Square, and Fields Corner on what has become a regular mission: fighting the foreclosures plaguing the state. Read more
If there's a bottom in Boston's housing slump, it's around Hendry Street in the Meeting House Hill neighborhood. Sandra Smith has lived there for three years. That's all it took for a fully occupied street of wood frame houses to become a gallery of plywood.
"It looks like a ghost town," she said.
On one side of Hendry was a pair of boarded-up three-deckers. One of them was declared unfit for habitation. The weeds growing out front were more than four feet tall. Read more
The 1978 community reinvestment act (CRA), which set up a grading system to monitor the performance of banks in city neighborhoods, has played a pivotal role in stabilizing some of Dorchester's most vulnerable sections. But, neighborhood housing advocates now say that a giant loophole in the CRA continues to leave low-income homeowners exposed to predatory lenders that could lead to foreclosures and other problems. Read more