Most of the SGA staff was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last week for Reclaiming Vacant Properties, the first ever national conference on the issue of vacant properties. We’ll have some pictures and stories to follow in the next few days, but we wanted to alert you to a related chat taking place on the Washington Post’s website tomorrow (Tuesday) with Jim Rokakis. He has been on the frontlines of the vacant property issue for years as treasurer for Cuyahoga County (Cleveland, OH). At the conference in Pittsburgh, he was one of the speakers in a session on avoiding foreclosures, where he gave a stirring testimony of the effects in Cleveland.
As many cities have struggled with disinvestment or shrinking population, the subprime lending disaster and subsequent foreclosures have combined to speed up the effects in some neighborhoods, leading to instability, crime and other disastrous effects.
Jim Rokakis painted a compelling picture in the Washington Post over the weekend of what happened to the close-knit neighborhood of Slavic Village as a result of predatory lending and the fallout from the subprime lending fiasco. He will be online and discussing his article Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. ET “to explain the extreme impact real estate speculation and the subprime lending collapse have had on one community.”