Mike Parker will give an overview of the innovative program, “Richmond CARES”, which was proposed by Richmond’s Green Mayor Gayle McLaughlin to use the City’s power of eminent domain to benefit underwater homeowners.
Mike Parker is an organizer with Richmond Progressive Alliance. He is the editor of RPA’s website and newsletter. RPA works with the Mayor and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) in the program to stop blight, keep neighborhoods stable, stop foreclosures, and increase community wealth.
Topics to be discussed include:
- What is Richmond CARES?
- Who will Richmond CARES help?
- How likely is it that the program will expand to help more people over time?
- Will the City be buying homes?
- How does this actually work?
- Can the homeowner “flip” the home?
- How will this affect home values in the community?
- Isn’t the value of a mortgage the same as the value of the home that secures it?
- How will the City pay for this program?
- Will the program operators and funders make money off this program?
- What about the charges that this is a Wall Street scheme to “take another bite out of Richmond”?
- Will the City make money off this program?
- Is the City’s plan unfair to the current investors who own the loans?
- Are pension funds helped or hurt by the program?
- Is there any risk to City?
- Will people who go through this program have to pay income tax on the loan reduction?
- Could this program cause the cost of mortgage lending to go up in Richmond?
- Will this program hurt the City’s credit rating and its ability to buy, sell or refinance bonds?
- What is a Joint Powers Authority?
- Is this a legal use of eminent domain?
Numerous top legal scholars and law firms confirm that it is legal, yes. The public purpose of reducing foreclosure and blight is clear, and eminent domain has in fact been used in many cases to acquire “intangible” property including financial instruments. See these articles for more on this topic:
Washington Post “Is Richmond’s mortgage seizure scheme even legal?”
New York Fed’s Current Issues in Economics and Finance “Paying Paul and Robbing No One”
Stanford Journal of Law, Business, and Finance “It Takes a Village”
- Who is most opposed to Richmond CARES and why?
Essentially the battle is between the interests of real estate speculators, and the interest of Richmond residents who want to keep their neighborhoods stable, keep people in their own homes instead of forcing them to rent, and stop the spread of blight.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Richmond CARES http://www.richmondcares.com
Save Richmond Homes http://www.saverichmondhomes.org
Richmond ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment) http://calorganize.org E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-377-9037
LA Times http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-hiltzik-20130901,0,1360275.column
The Atlantic Cities http://m.theatlanticcities.com/housing/2013/09/why-wall-street-very-very-angry-richmond-california-today/6858
Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/09/richmond-eminent-domain-wall-street-nightmare
USA Today http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/09/29/richmond-eminent-domain-foreclosures/2834299/
KQED Forum http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201308080900
PBS Newshour discussed on Daily Kos http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/09/20/1240246/-PBS-Newshour-Richmo nd-CA-Government-Uses-Eminent-Domain-to-Solve-Its-Foreclosure-Crisis#
*** Compare with: Use of Eminent Domain to grab land for the Keystone XL pipieline http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2012/09/28/eminent-domain-casts-its-long-shadow-over-the-texas-legislature ***
DIRECTIONS: One block north of Alcatraz on the West side of Telegraph, wheelchair accessible. Buses pass by regularly. Ashby BART is approximately 7 blocks away.
SPONSOR: Green Sundays are a series of free programs and discussions sponsored by the Green Party of Alameda County. They are held on the 2nd Sunday of each month.