Anti-foreclosure group reports progressby Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
Organizers with the group Occupy Homes say their efforts to help homeowners fight foreclosure are showing signs of success.
Occupy Homes organizer Chris Gray says the 8-month-old group has helped three homeowners in the Twin Cities successfully negotiate with mortgage lenders.
The group's staged sit-ins at foreclosed properties have led to 40 arrests, including local rapper Brother Ali outside a Minneapolis home last month.
But Gray says the long-term goal of the group is to build support networks so that homeowners can help each other.
"For homeowners, a lot of their power lies in each other and in their communities," Gray says. "And so a lot of the work that we're doing is working with homeowners to reach out to their neighborhood or reach out to organizations that support them and try to launch a real campaign of public pressure where they can have a lot of power and support backed by neighborhoods, communities, or student groups or families."
Several other local nonprofit groups offer help for struggling homeowners focused on private financial counseling.
The number of foreclosures in the Twin Cities remains well above pre-recession levels.