By Roy Oppenheim
Yes… The cavalry is arriving today to Florida with President Obama at the helm to discuss the economic stimulus package and how it will stop the displacement of families from foreclosure.
The picture on the front page of our newspapers says it all.
The Sunday New York Times and the Miami Herald today stresses how families are being uprooted and forced to sell their belongings on the curb due to foreclosures, while gangs are taking over suburban streets and marijuana plants are growing in America’s backyards. So for today this is news, but watch my words, soon this will be old news and the accepted condition… and thus not news at all.
In fact, that is how it was growing up in the Bronx and passing through Harlem and the South Bronx for decades. Written off… forgotten… NO news… It was the accepted state of affairs. In fact, in college we visited these forgotten areas in a graduate seminar. The course was called: Urban Blight. Nothing much was written about these areas except in an academic context. How did this happen? How can we avoid it in the future? How can we change it? Well… fast-forward 27 years and in fact, Harlem is now thriving with a past President taking an office there, as are some of these previous war zones. But… we are now creating a new phenomenon … Suburban Blight! And while new… it will become old real quickly.
So we need to act now! We must try at all costs to keep people in their homes. Allowing the banks to foreclose is never the answer, since the banks are the worst homeowners: absentee, indifferent and faceless.