pattern language, politics

COMMENT ON: Obama Foreclosure Plan Falling Far Short Of Targets

Sad but true, I believe. Dispersed homes will never recover their “value”.

Economic viability in the future will be five times greater for those living in close proximity in communities that integrate a good deal of what is now all over the map. Another way of saying this: Energy costs are five times greater in dispersion than in denser areas.

Both the dispersed (metrosprawl) model and the commute-by-car, do-everything-by-car models are unsustainable. Ultimately it may be less expensive to redesign and rebuild communities from scratch, than try to continue propping up today’s default sprawl.

This is the underlying reason for the crisis we are in. Remember we said we needed to move to a post-oil economy?

Current efforts to tie recovery to the resuscitation of the automobile and housing markets are unlikely to do more than sputter. Meanwhile the vision of a truly sustainable economy can be found in the thought of thinkers like Christopher Alexander.

https://stephencrose.wordpress.com/pattern-language/

Read the article I’m commenting on at HuffingtonPost

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politics

Heartland Fighting Foreclosures

Growing story. Who is being helped?

Community-based movements to halt the flood of foreclosures have been building across the country. They turned out in Cleveland once again in October, when a coalition of grassroots housing groups rallied outside the Cuyahoga County courthouse, calling for a foreclosure freeze and constructing a mock graveyard of Styrofoam headstones bearing the names of local communities decimated by the housing crisis. (They did not, unfortunately, stop the more than 1,000 foreclosure filings in the county the following month.) In Boston the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America began protesting in front of Countrywide Financial offices in October 2007. Within weeks, Countrywide had agreed to work with the group to renegotiate loans. In Philadelphia ACORN and other community organizations helped to pressure the city council to order the county sheriff to halt foreclosure auctions this past March. Philadelphia has since implemented a program mandating “conciliation conferences” between defaulting homeowners and lenders. ACORN organizers say the program has a 78 percent success rate at keeping people in their homes. One activist group in Miami has taken a more direct approach to the crisis, housing homeless families in abandoned bank-owned homes without waiting for government permission.


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