DETROIT (WWJ) – Several Detroit religious leaders gathered on Wednesday to call on banks to stop foreclosing on families, work with them and reinvest in the city.
With home prices at their lowest levels since 2006, there are a record number of foreclosures in the city. One group of faith leaders gathered in front of a vacant home on Detroit’s west side to call on lenders to work with families to keep them in their homes.
WWJ’s Florence Walton reported that the group says the big banks are making million of dollars of the foreclosure racket.
Central United Methodist Church Pastor Ed Rowe said, while standing in front of a Chase Bank foreclosed home on Detroit’s west side, that the big banks and other lending institutions are destroying the city.
“Chase Bank, who owns this house, that was a wonderful house before they foreclosed on it, took the money that your house used to be worth. Then when the house is vandalized, they get the insurance money,” said Rowe. “They make billions of dollars off of foreclosing on houses.”
Rowe and other faith leaders are asking Detroiters to do their banking with credit unions or local banks. Rowe said to avoid the multi-state corporate banks that own much of the foreclosed property in the city.
Rainbow Push Detroit Chapter President Reverend Alexander Bullock said the foreclosure crisis could be turned into an opportunity for jobs for Detroiters.
“Chase and Bank of America own a large percentage of the vacant homes in the City of Detroit,” said Bullock. “We’re asking for them to be a part of the solution. We’re not trying to fix the blame but trying to fix the problem. When we see a vacant home, we see jobs, either through rehab or deconstruction.”
The group is planning a rally on Friday morning in front of the vacant train station to bring attention the need to put people to work fixing up vacant buildings.