National Small Cities and Towns Day to Focus on Impact of Foreclosures
Brooks, James, Nation's Cities Weekly
With home mortgage foreclosures reaching all-time highs, the Steering Committee of NLC's Small Cities Council will use the observance of National Small Cities and Towns Day on July 20 to raise awareness about the impact of this crisis on the nation's smaller communities.
Although often considered only a big city problem, the nation's smaller cities and towns also face significant challenges from predatory lending practices and rising home mortgage foreclosures. In its May 2007 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, RealtyTrac showed foreclosure filings--default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions--up 19 percent from the previous month and up nearly 90 percent from May 2006.
Now communities are also seeing the ripple effects of rising home foreclosures, including decreased tax bases and property values for entire neighborhoods, increased crime rates in some areas, decreased interest in public and private investment, increased pest control problems with vacant homes and the loss of neighborhood camaraderie.
"The stability of entire communities is rooted in the economic health and security of our friends and neighbors," said Charles Henderson, mayor, Greenwood, Ind., and chair of the NLC Small Cities Council.
NLC is working with Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn. …