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CBCF TO HOST FORUM: THE REALITIES OF THE HOUSING CRISIS ON MAJORITY AFRICAN-AMERICAN CITIES

WASHINGTON, DC – The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) in partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation will host a Detroit-based forum to educate and inform the public on the relevant policy issues and solutions to recover from the housing crisis.  The forum will take place on Saturday, May 5 from 8 A.M. to 4 P.M. at The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.  Detroit is the chosen launch city for the CBCF Housing forum because the city is among the ten highest black-populated cities hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. 

Majority African-American cities continue to be disproportionately affected by the 2007-2009 financial crisis – a crisis perpetuated by chronic unemployment, predatory lending practices such as reverse redlining, and residential segregation. With staggering statistics on foreclosures, unemployment, poverty and crime, the economic downturn has magnified hardships faced by Detroit residents.

Four of the ten highest black-populated cities are in states with the highest foreclosure rates: Michigan, Florida and Georgia.  As of November 2011 when preliminary analysis for the forum was conducted, the staggering statistics revealed the following:

  • 84% of the population is African American
  • 8301 foreclosures
  • 36% poverty rate
  • African American unemployment rate is 24%, compared to an overall unemployment rate of 13.5% in Detroit, and a national average of 8.5%

The other cities suffering from the foreclosure crisis are Jackson, MS; Miami Gardens, FL; Birmingham, AL; Baltimore, MD; Memphis, TN; New Orleans, LA; Flint, MI; Montgomery, AL; and Savannah, GA.

“It is clear many African American communities across the country remain in the red.  Entire neighborhoods have become ghost towns because of the foreclosure crisis.  CBCF is committed to giving residents the information they need to save their homes and rebound to gainful employment,” said CBCF president and CEO, Dr. Elsie L. Scott.

"The foreclosure crisis is one of the most urgent issues facing Detroit, and I am working hard in Congress to save our communities and ensure families can stay in their homes. The CBCF Economic Recovery Forum will provide access to a wide range of critical and relevant services and information for metro Detroiters," said Representative Clarke.

The CBCF Housing Forum will explore how federal and state legislation, such as the Home Affordable Modification and Refinance Program and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer protection Act, will ultimately help or hinder African Americans from recovering from the financial crisis.  Attendees will also learn about foreclosure prevention, loan and refinance modification, credit restoration and job training.

Residents may register online at www.cbcfinc.org or in person at the forum at The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 East Warren Avenue, Detroit, MI.  A continental breakfast, lunch and free parking are included with the registration.