School Closures and Foreclosure: Three Maps

Chris Poulos created some maps showing the intersection of school closures and foreclosures. Below you’ll see three maps of the schools targeted for closure around Chicago, along with the neighborhoods hardest hit by foreclosures between 2008 and 2012.

Housing is a Human Right! Public Education is a Human Right! If you would like to learn more about uniting these two important struggles against racism, displacement, and privatization, email

Click on the images for larger versions.

Victims of bank foreclosure share holiday cheer (and family pain) by caroling at banks

When:  Tuesday, December 18, 11 a.m.

Where: Starting at 5/3 Bank 1 N. Wacker Dr. at 11:00 a.m. (Corner of Madison and Franklin) Returning to Fannie Mae at 1:00pm 1 S. Wacker for a press conference.

As Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other major banks suspend evictions for a two-week period during the holidays, families facing foreclosure and eviction will gather to demand year-round justice. At 11 a.m. Tuesday, more than fifteen families and their neighbors and supporters will share the pain and anxiety of the foreclosure process, as well as their hopes to save their homes, by caroling at the downtown branches of the banks moving to throw them out in the coming year.

Families will sing “anti-eviction carols” in English and Spanish before returning to 1 S. Wacker at 1:00 p.m. for a press conference with five homeowners who, following the sale of their homes to Fannie Mae, face eviction in the new year.

Terry Edwards, an Executive Vice President at Fannie Mae, has said of the two-week suspension, “We’re taking this step in support of families who have faced financial challenges,” adding “We want to relieve some stress at this time of year.”

The Centro Autónomo of Albany Park and Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction are in agreement with the holiday moratorium, but why not take steps to create  sustainable solutions to the housing crisis so that loved ones can be relieved of stress year-round?

“We are not fooled by publicity stunts that offer band-aid solutions,” says Isabel Valenzuela of the Centro Autónomo. “Freddie and Fannie will still move forward in the legal process of eviction during the holidays, a slap in the face to families living under the threat of foreclosure.”

Together, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac control more than half of all home mortgages and over 90% of newly-issued mortgages. These institutions hold enormous influence over the housing market, and have made the foreclosure crisis worse by denying principal reductions, then evicting families from their homes, only to hold vacant properties for months on end.  Edward DeMarco, President of Fannie Mae, holds the fate of at least four million families in his hands.

Among those who will speak at Tuesday’s press conference is Mary Bonelli, a senior citizen whose family has lived in their Belmont-Cragin home for three generations. Fannie Mae bought Bonelli’s foreclosed home this fall, and now the 76 year-old is set to be evicted in January, despite chronic health conditions and difficulty walking. Maria Dolores, a Rogers Park homeowner of 15 years who operates a local daycare, also faces imminent eviction at the hands of Fannie Mae. Marcia Iza, in threat of eviction as her home was foreclosed on in the process of a domestic violence scandal, has been contacting Fannie Mae to negotiate an offer on her home but they ignore every attempt to come to an agreement.  They will also be joined by Marilyn Elazegui, and Laurentina Gutierrez who are also in the process of eviction under Fannie Mae.

The families involved are calling on Fannie, Freddie and the “Big Four” to halt all evictions and resell the homes to their owners at market value, or donate the homes to the community land trust of the Centro Autónomo for management as permanent affordable housing.

Homeowners, tenants and supporters will also carol at the following banks from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

5/3rd Bank, 1 N. Wacker. Lionel Torres, a senior citizen in Hermosa, is facing foreclosure on his underwater condo by 5 3rd Bank.  The market value of the condo is now less than one-fourth of what Lionel originally paid for it.

PNC Bank, 1 North Franklin St. Candelario and Carolina Lopez of Gage Park will share their story of foreclosure.

Bank of America, 105 W. Madison. Sergio Lopez, Patricio Dominguez, Vicente and Guadalupe Salgado, Luis Ponciano and Julio Lopez are all facing foreclosure by Bank of America.

U.S. Bank, 25 E Washington. Barry and Marcelle Lyn-Waitsman and Luis Bautista are fighting for their homes.

TCF Bank, 29 E Madison. Josue Pina of Rogers Park went into foreclosure when he was jobless. He has since found employment, but TCF Bank refuses to work with him.

Chase Bank, 2 North La Salle.  Beatriz and Bolivar Uriart and Corazon Luzón De Rosas are attempting to negotiate with Chase Bank.

For more information, contact:

  • Roberto de la Riva, Centro Autónomo of Albany Park, 612 991 8584
  • Sabrina Morey, Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction, 773 289 6835

Neighbors in Action Training: Dec. 1 and Dec. 8

Please forward widely…
Favor de expandir extensamente…

You’re Invited! Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction would like to invite you to join us at one or both of our upcoming Neighbors in Action Trainings.

Usted está invitado!  Comunidades Unidas En contra de la Ejecución Hipotecaria  y los Desalojos los invita a participar a uno o a los dos eventos  de dos eventos que se aproximan Vecinos en Acción.


Neighbors in Action Training Part 1: Come learn about the foreclosure and eviction processes and strategies for keeping ourselves, and our neighbors, in our homes. You will have the opportunity to join a Neighbors in Action team that supports a person or family fighting back to keep their home.

When: Saturday, December 1, 1pm – 5pm
Where: Austin Library, 5615 W. Race Ave.
Childcare and English/Spanish translation available. Refreshments provided.RSVP to or 773-349-2396

Vecinos en Acción Primer Entrenamiento: Venga y aprenda acerca del proceso de foreclosure y del desalojo, también para ver las estrategias para que nosotros mismos y nuestros vecinos podamos permanecer en nuestras casas.  Usted va a tener la oportunidad de involucrarse en el equipo de Vecinos en Acción  para a poyar a personas o familias que están luchando para permanecer en sus casas.

Cuando: Sábado, Diciembre 1, 1p.m.-5p.m.
Adonde: En la Librería de Austin, 5615 W. Race Ave
Habrá cuidado de niños y habrá traducción de Ingles a Español. Habrá aperitivos.Favor de reservar puede ir a la página o llamando al (773) 349-2396.


Neighbors in Action Training Part 2: This second training will build on the skills of the first. You’ll learn the computer skills needed to look up foreclosure and eviction case information, and research vacant houses. We hope participants of this second training will consider leading a team of people to canvass the neighborhood and/or lead a Neighbors in Action team.

When: Saturday, December 8, 1pm – 5pm
Where: Austin Library, 5615 W. Race Ave.
Childcare and English/Spanish translation available. Refreshments provided.RSVP to or 773-349-2396

Vecinos en Acción Segunda Parte: El segundo entrenamiento es para aprender habilidades aprenderá habilidades de computadora que se necesitan para buscar información del foreclosure o del desalojo, y para buscar casas abandonadas.  Esperamos que los participantes del segundo entrenamiento podrían considerar poder conducir un equipo de personas que puedan ir tocando puertas en el vecindario y  tal ves poder conducir un entrenamiento de Vecinos en Acción.

Cuando: Sábado, Diciembre 8, 1p.m.-5p.m.
Adonde: En la Librería de Austin, 5615 W. Race Ave
Habrá cuidado de niños y habrá traducción de Ingles a Español. Habrá aperitivos.

Favor de reservar puede ir a la página o llamando al (773) 349-2396.

Public Meeting to Demand a Moratorium with Tom Dart and Toni Preckwinkle

Last night, more than 150 homeowners, tenants, neighbors, and occupiers met at UE Hall with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to demand a one-year moratorium on foreclosures and evictions in Cook County. Below are some photos from the event, which was hosted by a coalition of Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction, Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, and Centro Autónomo in Albany Park.

The room was packed with folks facing eviction, their allies, and members of the media, who heard speeches from homeowners, tenants, and residents of public housing and Section 8. Photo by Megan Selby.

In one of the many powerful speeches that night, Keosha (Kiki) Cummings explained to Sheriff Dart and Toni Preckwinkle her experiences facing eviction, asking them how they would like it if they were in her situation. Photo by Megan Selby.

“We owe $225,000 on the house, but it is only valued at $140,000. We tried four times for a loan modification and they were all rejected.”

—Vicente and Estela Gutierrez

A national study of 14 primary banks revealed that 30.9% of Hispanics and 41.5% of African Americans were offered unstable and expensive home loans, as opposed to 17.8% of whites. As a result, homeowners of color are now 8% more likely than whites to owe more on their home than it is worth.

Henry Warfield on the bullhorn during the public housing/Section 8 panel. Merlene Robinson-Parsons, a tenant leader at Northpoint Apartments, is making some finishing touches on her speech which is up next. Photo by Megan Selby.

“I am a senior citizen on a fixed income with no family in the area, and 5/3 bank is trying to kick me out of my house. My family has been here since 1921!”

—Mary Bonelli

The AARP reports that heads of households over 50 represented 28 percent of all mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures in 2007—at double the national rate.

Chicago Childcare Collective made signs and played with youth downstairs while their parents were upstairs demanding a moratorium. At the end of the meeting, the youth marched with their signs to the front of the room and chanted for their human right to housing. Photo by Megan Selby.

“I have lived and worked in the community for thirty years. I don’t want to uproot my family.”

–Patricia Scardina

Studies suggest that frequent moves negatively affect academic achievement and emotional development. Children with instable housing are less likely to graduate from high school than their stationary peers.

Tom Dart and Toni Preckwinkle: Will you send the deputies to evict Henry and his family this year? What about the 3,700 other families like Henry’s across the county? Photo by Megan Selby.

Virginia Morales told Dart, Preckwinkle, and the 150 others in attendance, “My parents Eliceo and Lilia Morales Martinez have lived in our home for 27 years. We are part of the statistics; we are one more Latino family facing foreclosure in the Hermosa Community. My five-year old son Daniel asked me where we are going to live if we lose the house. ‘I want to remain in my school; will I still go to the same school?’ What would be the appropriate response to a five-year old’s questions? Those of you who are not in foreclosure, can you for one moment imagine how desperate and frustrating this is for a family to be going through?” Photo by Megan Selby.

We didn’t get a satisfactory answer to our demand for a moratorium, and so the campaign will continue until we see a stop to all evictions and foreclosures! Join us at an upcoming meeting!

Communities United Against Foreclosure and Evictions

Albany Park: First and third Thursdays at 6:30pm, Albany Park Autonomous
Center, 3460 W. Lawrence. For more information call Tom, Roberto, or Tony at
773-583-7728 (Spanish/English) or email and
           NEXT MEETING: Thursday, August 16

Austin: Location and time of next meeting to be confirmed. Call Gloria at 773-827-
3814 (English) or email

Belmont Cragin: Every other Saturday. Location and time of next meeting to be
confirmed. Call Sabrina at 773-603-2186 (English) or Bridget at 773-443-1903
(Spanish/English), or email

Logan Square: First and third Tuesdays at 6:30pm, Logan Square Library, 3030 W.
Fullerton Ave. For more information call Kim at 773-310-2225 (English), call
Virginia at 773-456-6999 (Spanish), or email
           NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, August 21

Rogers Park: First and third Wednesdays at 7pm, 7463 N. Ridge. For more
information call Jorge at 773-954-3614 (Spanish/English) or email
           NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, August 15

Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign

Southside: Every Thursday at 6:30pm, Ms Sis Cafe, 1401 E 75th St. For more
information, call 312-287-7228, or email and visit
           NEXT MEETING: Thursday, August 16th

Stop the eviction of 29-year Rogers Park resident Merlene Robinson-Parsons

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pictures by Froilan Landeros

Merlene and other tenants of Northpoint Apartments were incredibly brave today in confronting the intimidation they are facing as they fight evictions as well as unfair and illegal practices. Residents named a variety of complaints with the management such as unhealthy living conditions like bedbugs and rats, conflicts of interest between management and tenants, and even defamation of name and character, after a letter was posted around the apartments naming particular residents and supposed illegal conduct they were engaged in. Many of the people named in the letter were people who were fighting back against the conditions at Northpoint.

Merlene Robinson-Parsons told her story, explaining why she is facing eviction. Her rent subsidy could have been adjusted to match her income when her husband left. Instead, she was taken to eviction court, and with no money to pay for a lawyer, she and her 3-year-old great-niece now face homelessness in the coming days. When she cobbled together enough money to pay for the rent she owes Northpoint, the property manager said she would not accept it.

Supporters from Northside Action for Justice and Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction joined Northpoint residents at the press conference to call on Northpoint property manager Kimberley Boyd, HUD Chicago Multifamily Hub Director Ed Hinsberger and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart to stop the eviction of Merlene Robinson-Parsons.

Merlene, with the support of her neighbors, Northside Action for Justice, and Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction will take her fight directly to HUD on Tuesday August 7th with a press conference at 11:30am (gathering at 11am) outside 77 W. Jackson St.

Can you take 5 minutes to call the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Monday to demand they intervene in Merlene’s case?
Call Ed Hinsberger at 312-353-6236 x 8152 and Shaun Donovan at 202-708-1112.

Tell them: Merlene Robinson-Parsons may be evicted any day from Northpoint Properties, where she’s lived for 29 years. Merlene’s case is the latest in a pattern of abuse at Northpoint. Instead of allowing Merlene and her 3 year-old grand niece to be made homeless, I urge your office to intervene to stop her eviction and investigate AIMCO/Northpoint. I demand that private companies receiving money from HUD do what they’re supposed to: provide affordable housing!

Northpoint Properties, where Merlene has lived for 29 years, is a subsidiary of AIMCO. AIMCO receives millions of dollars in public subsidies from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to operate Section 8 housing, but it is subject to little or no oversight. AIMCO has a nationwide record of abuse and neglect, and Northpoint Properties has a history of trying to wrongfully evict residents. At a time when homelessness is on the rise, HUD should be expanding the availability of subsidized and public housing. But when Merlene has contacted the officials who are supposed to oversee her apartment complex, they’ve told the burden is on her to work things out with the property manager.

HUD has intervened to stop wrongful evictions at Northpoint before–let’s demand that they do the right thing and do it again for Merlene and her niece!


Senior citizen fights to stop her eviction and keep her family

CHICAGO, IL, Aug. 2 – A 29-year resident of Northpoint Apartments is fighting to keep her apartment and her family. At 11 a.m. today in front of 7717 N. Paulina, neighbors and community members will join her in an effort to stop her eviction.

Merlene Robinson-Parsons’ problems started when her husband moved out – without paying the rent, and with no prior notice – in May.

The rent subsidy on her apartment could have been increased, had Robinson-Parsons known the proper procedure. But Robinson-Parsons, whose income is now just over $800 a month, did not have access to a lawyer during eviction proceedings. As a result, she may be thrown out of her home in the coming days.

What’s more, she has now raised enough money to cover her back rent as well as Northpoint Apartments’ court costs, but Northpoint property manager Kimberley Boyd (an employee of AIMCO, which owns the property) will not let Robinson-Parsons keep her apartment in return for the rent money.

Today, with support from her neighbors and members of Northside Action for Justice and Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction, she will try again.

“This never should have happened. She was entitled to have her rent adjusted with proof of her income change,” says Holly Krig, a member of Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction. “Even if Merlene has struggled to pay her rent before, her decreased income should have been a paperwork issue, and not grounds for eviction. If AIMCO can’t afford to work with Merlene, who has been a good neighbor at Northpoint for almost 30 years, it’s only because they are putting their corporate bottom line ahead of the needs of the very people they pretend to serve.”

The groups are calling on Northpoint property manager Kimberley Boyd, HUD Chicago Multifamily Hub Director Ed Hinsberger and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart to stop the eviction.

More than just an apartment is at stake for Robinson-Parsons. She has been caring for her great-niece Lamariana since July 2010, when the girl witnessed her 10-month-old sister’s tragic death.

“In order for me to keep her, I have to have adequate housing,” Robinson-Parsons says. “Where am I going to get a 2-bedroom apartment for under $800? I am begging you to let me keep my apartment.”

Other residents will also be present to discuss their own problems with Northpoint Apartments, including one woman – Mary Wells – who was robbed of her rent money and received emergency funds from Catholic Charities to pay it a few days late, only to be told the management company could not accept her rent and was trying to evict her.

In addition, Robinson-Parsons will tell her story at an Aug. 9 public meeting with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinckle. The meeting will be held at 6:30pm at Jobs with Justice, 333 S. Ashland.

Voices and photos from our action in solidarity with the Cruz Family of Minnesota

From an article by In These Times:

David Cruz told In These Times that, when his family was unable to afford the two months of payment demanded by the bank after PNC’s system failed to process a payment in June 2010, the holder of the mortgage on their Minneapolis home began trying to evict them. “They were expecting that they could just get us to leave,” he said of a notice they received in February, which he claims told them they had 48 hours to vacate the property and made no mention of the family’s right to contest the foreclosure in court. “We didn’t know at first that we could defend our home. But now we do, and we’re saying, ‘enough is enough.’”

The Cruz family had a very specific request for President Obama: “Stop using taxpayer funds to carry out unjust foreclosures and evictions. Leadership starts at the top”, said Alejandra Cruz, “and we need you to do more. You have the power to replace the Director of Freddie Mac. This agency is being used to destroy families and communities and you have the power to change it.”

And from a Huffington Post article:

“This is important because there’s a foreclosure crisis that has been ongoing across the country for years now, and despite government bailout money to the banks and a lot of legislation, there hasn’t been a lot of will from the banks to do something about it, so there are brave families like the Cruz family who are stepping up in order to get their attention and try to save their homes,” Stuart Schussler, an organizer with the Albany Park Autonomous Center, told HuffPost Chicago.

Read more from the article about the protest from In These Times and the one from Huffington Post.

Hey, Sheriff Dart! We need a halt on evictions now!

March for a One-Year Moratorium on Evictions
Wednesday, May 16th, 10am
Meeting at Jackson and LaSalle

We demanded a moratorium before, and five days later Sheriff Tom Dart gave us one for one month. Since then…

They got bailed out, and we got kicked out!

  • The largest banks admitted to committing massive fraud, and just got a slap on the wrist.

The federal office investigating the fraud has NO staff!

We need a moratorium on all foreclosures and unjust evictions.

Join us as we demand that Sheriff Tom Dart halt all evictions for 1 year, from May 16th, 2012 to May 15th, 2013.

What: March for a One-Year Moratorium on Evictions
When: Wednesday, May 16th, 10am
Where: Meeting at Jackson and LaSalle

More info:

If you can’t join us for the March on Wednesday (or if you can!) sign this petition to show that you want a moratorium on evictions in Chicago:

Connecting labor and foreclosed home occupations – Sat, Feb 11 @ 1pm

WHAT: Labor and neighborhood meeting to liberate vacant, foreclosed homes
WHEN: Saturday, February 11 at 1pm
WHERE: Rogers Park Community House, 7463 N. Ridge


People are fighting back
against a housing market that’s evicting homeowners and tenants from the communities where they live and work. We are working with more and more families occupying their homes, more and more tenants occupying foreclosed units now owned by the banks, and more and more families liberating abandoned, foreclosed homes.

Workers are fighting back against a jobs market that’s getting in the way of the work that our communities need.

We want to create a network and alternative to these markets that are getting in the way of our rights and our needs…

We need support from labor
to repair homes in our neighborhoods, and to help us create a bailout for the people, a reinvestment in our communities, and a moratorium on all foreclosures and unjust evictions. Join us on February 11th at 1pm to discuss how workers and neighbors can together reclaim our neighborhoods from the banks!


Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction
We are members of various communities in and around Chicago who fight to keep people in their homes, and to claim land for people who are homeless. We believe housing is a human right. We believe in using any means necessary to keep our communities intact and keep people in their homes, including legal strategies; informing the media of our struggles; and using direct action (such as demonstrations and occupations of living spaces) — whatever it takes to keep our communities together, and to claim the land for ourselves and future generations.