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Difficult Times Ahead Due to Increased Home Foreclosures

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By : Leticia Carvalho    99 or more times read
The annual gathering at the Chicago’s West Loop Town Hall meeting was attended by ward aldermen, police commanders and representative from park and school districts to join the city’s planning department and West Loop’s Community Organization. The aldermen warned of tough economic times facing the city as a flurry of Illinois foreclosures increased, aggravated by a slowing economy, increasing unemployment rates and a decreased city budget.

In the 2nd Ward, 500 families lost their homes to foreclosures last year. This does not only mean 500 vacant or boarded-up homes, but the number of Illinois foreclosures would also mean a same number of families or individuals are no longer paying taxes which would have an adverse impact on the city’s economic stability and finances.

The quality of life in neighborhoods and communities are also affected as vacant houses have been sources of blight and have affected the overall home values in the vicinity. These aldermen were putting their hopes on President-elect Barack Obama’s economic team to quickly find a way to finally stop foreclosures. The city has already experienced 8,827 foreclosures during the first half if 2008, which registered an increase of 42 percent from last year. The council members are worried that if no solution can be had in the offing, the city will encounter larger problems in the near future.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the Chicago region experienced an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent in October 2008, which is higher by 2 percent from the same period last year. This rate was felt all the way up to the city council, which laid off 635 people from their payroll, in response to a slashed-down budget. They have also closed down 1,600 previously vacant positions.

To increase revenues, the city has increased taxes and related fees on Dumpsters, concerts and other live performances, and even satellite TV. In addition to these tax increases, the city has also doubled library fines for overdue materials, increasing it from 10 to 20 cents per day.

The meeting was not all-grim news on foreclosures and unemployment, as the aldermen announced new projects in their respective wards, which includes various infrastructure programs.
Leticia Carvalho has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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