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Northern Virginia Community Organization Develops $30 Million Redevelopment Fund

October 1st, 2013

fd81abd254d7751c4d3d0b1efc49d95fVOICE, the northern Virginia community organization that has been addressing housing blight in the region, was highlighted in a Washington Post article recently. The organization has put together the $30 million “Prince William, VA Restoration Fund” from mortgage lenders responsible for a major foreclosure crisis in the area. The fund is designed to address neighborhood blight caused by the foreclosure & predatory loan crisis in town home communities like Georgetown South in Manassas, VA.  The Oblates have actively supported VOICE’s efforts to develop this community redevelopment fund through our activist shareholder connections.

Bank of America, General Electric, and the VA Housing & Development Authority capitalized the fund.  VOICE is in a major fight to compel JP Morgan Chase–the worst lender in Prince William County– to re-invest $10 million in the Fund at 1% for 20 years like General Electric–to restore a portion of the equity JP Morgan stripped from Prince William families and neighborhoods.  Here are the links to the Washington Post article as well as a USA Today Op-Ed (August) & CNN Report (March) about VOICE’s work:

Georgetown South in Manassas: A neighborhood remaking itself 

By Jeremy Borden, Washington Post

Each time Ron Taylor steps outside the squat brick townhouse he rents in the Manassas neighborhood of Georgetown South, the house next door is a reminder of how things used to be.

Community Fights Ruin From Foreclosures, 03/28/2013, CNN

Churches forgo the hammer on housing, 08/28/2013, USA Today

VOICE’s Foreclosure and Bank Accountability Campaign has produced impressive results so far in 2013:

  • Secured $30 million in commitments for VOICE’s Prince William Restoration Fund from Bank of America, General Electric, and VA Housing Development Authority.  The fund will support a pilot that would (1) rehab 100 abandoned / blighted properties in neighborhoods devastated by foreclosure for affordable homeownership & rental housing, (2) allow for the development of 1,500 units of rental housing over the next 15 years in Northern Virginia for families.  Announced at 500+ person action in Woodbridge VA with Senator Warner and representatives from Bank of America, General Electric, and VA Housing Development Authority;
  • Secured 900+ Loan Modifications for Prince William families and $1.67 million in funding for non-profit housing counselors from Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and GE;
  • Accountability for more than $110 million in principal & debt reduction for Prince William homeowners through the National Mortgage Settlement;
  • Secured $8 million ($1 million added in 2013, $7 million in 2012) & coordinated bi-partisan support for the creation of a Virginia Housing Trust Fund;

VOICE organized a direct action at JP Morgan DC Private Banking Offices with 60 VOICE leaders on Thursday June 20th to condemn JP Morgan Chase for refusing to invest in the VOICE Prince William Restoration Fund. The action also launched a campaign to get Federal regulators, state leaders, and investors to pressure JP Morgan to reinvest the equity it stripped from Prince William families and neighborhoods through predatory loans and foreclosures.

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