Carol and her children watched, stricken, as their beloved photo albums, stuffed animals, and baby blankets were thrown on the curb. Despite heroic efforts to save the family home from foreclosure, the unthinkable happened. Carol, her husband, and their three children found themselves suddenly homeless.
One out of fifty children are now homeless and these numbers are only expected to worsen as 2.4 million families are projected to lose their homes this year. Women, and particularly, women of color, are disproportionately affected by the sub-prime and housing crisis. The Consumer Federation of America found that women were 32 percent more likely to receive sub-prime loans than men, even though they had roughly the same credit scores. And this disparity rose with income level. Among high income earners, African American women were as much as five times more likely to receive sub-prime mortgages than white men.
It is time for all of us to stand up against discriminatory lending policies and practices and make sure that families at risk of losing their homes get immediate help. Preventing foreclosure is not only a lifeline for families, but also helps the economy by preventing further collapse in the housing market.
Earlier this month, the House passed the "Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy Act" that would provide real relief to the 11% of homeowners whose mortgages are now in some form of distress. Under this legislation, bankruptcy judges could cut the principal on a homeowner's mortgage, reduce the interest rate, and extend the terms of a home loan to help families make it through tough economic times. In the coming weeks, this legislation will move to the Senate where it will face a tough fight.
MomsRising.org is urging the Senate to take action now to keep families in their homes by passing the "Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy Act." Send a letter to your Senators by clicking here.
Our children are our nation's future. One out of fifty children are already homeless, missing critical years of education, healthy development, and community support. Where will these homeless children be in twenty years? Will they be the healthy, educated, and productive workforce which our economy demands for long term prosperity? Clearly, it is both in our short and long term economic interest to take action now to prevent more families from losing their homes.
A Peaceful Revolution is a blog about innovative ideas to strengthen America's families through public policies, business practices, and cultural change. Done in collaboration with MomsRising.org, read a new post here each week.