Monday, April 27, 2009

City Life/Vida Urbana Receives Award From the National Community Reinvestment Coalition

On March 13, 2009 City Live/Vida Urbana received the James Rouse Award for outstanding work by an urban non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. at the annual National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) dinner.  The award was presented by the Rev. Jesse Jackson who spoke at the event.  Roxan McKinnon, Steve Meacham and Melonie Griffiths accepted the award on behalf of City Life/Vida Urbana.

Following are the remarks of Nadine Cohen, of Greater Boston Legal Services, who introduced the City Life/Vida Urbana awardees:

It is my great pleasure to present the James Rouse Award for most outstanding non-profit organization to City Life/Vida Urbana from Boston, MA.  CL/VU is one of the most innovative, effective and kick-ass grass roots organizations in the country.  Begun in 1973 in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, they have been involved in tenant organizing, the struggle to preserve affordable housing, organizing against racism and for community control of public resources. 

CLVU has played a major role in the current foreclosure crisis - trying to stop foreclosures and eviction in Boston’s neighborhoods.  They bring together tenants facing eviction and homeowners facing foreclosure to support each other and to develop effective strategies to keep people in their homes.  They hold eviction blockades where they bring out community members to surround the homes of the tenants being evicted, preventing the constables from carrying out the evictions.  In 2008 they were successful in preventing 11 out of 14 evictions.  They got arrested in 3 of the blockades, but because of the all the bad publicity for the lenders, and the support for the tenants, those too were victories.

In addition to helping tenants and homeowners negotiate the sales of their homes after foreclosure – sometimes at half their pre-foreclosure value – CLVU also holds public protests against Bank of America, protesting their unfair foreclosure policies.  City Life/Vida Urbana has recently begun to surround foreclosed homes with crime scene tape saying, “White collar crime scene.”  They are a strong and consistent voice against predatory lending and unfair foreclosures.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 “The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined non-conformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.”

It is my honor to present the James Rouse Award for outstanding work by an urban non-profit organization to City Life/Vida Urbana – very disciplined non-conformists, who stand up for what is right and who lead the way by their actions.

Nadine Cohen

Managing Attorney

Consumer Rights Unit

Greater Boston Legal Services


1 comment:

  1. I shopped “Major Lenders” as well as “Brokers” in California for an "Option ARM". In over a hundred telephone and in person conversations with loan officers, all were misrepresented, as it took several weeks before I finally was able to get anyone to explain to all aspects of the loan accurately. I do not believe I ever found all the answers in any single person. They were all misinformed, most preferred to believe they were selling a five year ARM, which they told borrowers, would recast to a fixed rate loan or they simply could refinance and get another "Option ARM". Washington Mutual Loan Officers insisted and showed me on a calculator how terribly mistaken I was in thinking that at 1.25% fixed minimum payment positively amortized. Anyone who borrowed with an Option ARM is a victim of fraud and the mortgage is invalid. Reference: Class Action taken by AG of California settled favorably for borrowers because of lender fraud with Countrywide the country's leading lender during the boom.