The North Philadelphia Chapter of Fight for Philly held a day-long memorial to foreclosed homes and the families who have been displaced in the city. Beginning at Noon on Tuesday, at the intersection of North Broad and Cecil B. Moore, Fight for Philly set up a roadside memorial depicting the very homes that now stand vacant.
The memorial educated passers by about how families had been preyed upon by greedy banks with toxic loans, and how these foreclosures are not just a loss for those families but for all of the community. For every house that is foreclosed upon in Philadelphia, the city incurs costs estimated at $19,000. During these times, our city certainly cannot afford to pay the price for the banks’ foreclosures. This is money that could be used for new school books, better streets, more police enforcement, better infrastructure.
The North Philly Chapter wanted to make the statement that the last thing this city needs is more money being spent to clean up the mistakes of big banks or for corporate greed triumphing over the hard working men and women of Philadelphia.
North Philadelphia resident Ron Santoro spoke about his family’s experiences:
“My cousin lost his job, and then his house in New Jersey, and had to come to live with our family here in Philly. It is difficult for everyone. I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to my other family members and friends. People have the right to a safe and healthy home – especially when we look around and see how much wealth the banks and corporations are hoarding and how that is hurting our community.”
At 7:00 p.m. the Fight for Philly volunteers held a candle light vigil featuring community members eulogizing the losses they’ve experienced personally and in their communities.
Larry Payton said that foreclosed homes were only a piece of why he joined the vigil:
“We need to fight for good jobs, for healthcare, for programs and better education opportunities for our children. If the banks paid their fair share, those things could be in reach. Imagine if that same $19,000 per foreclosed home was being used for new school books, fixing potholes and roads, more police officers.”