Activists complain foreclosed South LA homes promote blight

By Esperanza Arrizon
Good Jobs LA

Activists rode this bus on the foreclosed home blight tour.

On Thursday May 17th, activists from Good Jobs LA joined community members organized by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) for a South LA blight tour.

The tour showed three bank-owned foreclosed homes in serious disrepair to demonstrate how big banks are hurting local communities by failing to maintain their foreclosed properties.

Garbage fills one of the foreclosed homes on the blight tour.

There are approximately 19,000 LA families in some stage of foreclosure right now. As a result, abandoned bank-owned and foreclosed homes litter LA neighborhoods.

These homes – often left unsafe and in disrepair – attract crime, drive down local property values and are a blight on LA’s communities.

“I’ve been living here for 20 years. That house over there is the worst in this neighborhood,” said Carlos, a neighbor of one of the homes on the blight tour who asked that his last name not be revealed.

Another foreclosed home on the blight tour.

“There is a lot of trash there and it makes our block look very bad. What’s worse is that drugs are being sold out of the house, even to little children.”

Wall Street banks crashed our economy and drove millions to foreclosure and now they’re leaving LA’s communities to clean up the mess.

Activists called on city leaders to enforce LA’s blight ordinance that allows the city to collect $1,000 a day from banks that do not maintain their foreclosed homes.

But LA is failing to enforce the law – a lost opportunity to hold irresponsible banks accountable and collect money to rebuild our neighborhoods.

Julian Corea and his son live next to one of the blighted homes on the tour.

“It’s time for banks to pay what they owe and take responsibility for the activity that goes on in their foreclosed homes,” said Julian Corea, another neighbor of one of the blighted homes on the tour.

“Banks haven’t paid their fair share. They need to pay so we can use the money for public services. Abandoned, foreclosed homes are bringing our property values down. The city needs to collect the money that these banks owe.”