Every Tuesday evening, they come to Jamaica Plain to help others, and to find help themselves. Some are frightened, and some are defiant. Some spend their first meeting embarrassed to be there at all. But all members of City Life/Vida Urbana share a common story. They face ejection from what many of us take for granted—their own homes.
As a volunteer for City Life, I hear from dozens of people who are facing foreclosure—wonderful, hard-working people who have fallen into financial hardship through no fault of their own. Their stories can break your heart or inspire you to tears. And with every story I hear, I am reminded why we need to elect Elizabeth Warren as the next senator from Massachusetts to get our country and our Commonwealth back on the right track.
The issue of foreclosure is a growing problem; market researcher RealtyTrac reports a surge in new foreclosures over the past six months. Elderly people are particularly hard-hit; a recent AARP report states that the risk of serious delinquency on mortgages has grown fastest among people over 50 years old. Between 2007 and 2011, the foreclosure rate on people over 75 grew eightfold. Our economy simply cannot turn the corner back into prosperity if so many homeowners cannot pay their debts.
Elizabeth Warren has a sensible, effective plan to assist underwater homeowners across the Commonwealth. She has been an outspoken advocate for housing reform; as a creator of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she led the charge for greater oversight into alleged mortgage abuses. Her “too small, too slow” criticism of the Troubled Asset Relief Program’s foreclosure measures, and of Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, show that she’s willing to put partisan politics aside to find a workable solution to this pervasive problem.