Occupy saves homeowners

Occupy Homes MN shows support to homeowners facing unjust foreclosures.

Daily Editorial Board

Occupy Homes MN has played a vital role in helping those facing unjust evictions get back on their feet. Monique White’s north Minneapolis home was foreclosed in January of 2011, but after a seven-month campaign against US Bank and Freddie Mac, White won her home back with the support of her community and Occupy Homes MN. White is the first homeowner in the country to have worked with the Occupy movement to fight her foreclosure and pending eviction.

White’s story has inspired local hip-hop artist Brother Ali, who was arrested in June during an Occupy protest in Minneapolis, to encourage community awareness of the foreclosure crisis affecting tens of thousands of families across the state. The rapper and Occupy Homes MN have organized a fundraiser at White’s house Wednesday evening that will showcase anti-foreclosure stories from more than 40 housing activists from across the country.  The event hopes to gather donations that will fund the Occupy movement and ultimately help more families win their fight against foreclosure —just as White has.

Mortgages remain unaffordable for most Minnesota homeowners, with 57 percent who use more than 30 percent of their monthly income to fund their mortgage — 22 percent of homeowners use more than half.

Minnesota experienced a total of 21,298 foreclosures in 2011, and while this year it seems as if the rest of the state is improving, Minneapolis is lagging with a 45 percent increase in foreclosure notices — higher than that of any other city in the area.  Through the Occupy movement, citizens and Freddie Mac alike can further question recent business practices that have unfairly burdened homeowners.