In Auburn Gresham, can anyone afford their mortgage?

In Auburn Gresham, can anyone afford their mortgage?

In our final entry in our series examining where we live, Chicago Reporter Publisher Alden Loury talks about what the foreclosure crisis has done in his neighborhood. What's going on where you live? We want to know. Take a look at your census tract with the New York Times' slick map
and tell us what you see.

Louryheadshot08-thumb-220x220-8636.jpg

We've lived in our home for more than five years. In
that time, we've seen four homes on our end of the block go through
foreclosure--one of them twice. The mixture of economic recession and
subprime loans led to devastating effects in many low- to
moderate-income black neighborhoods.

The map of my census tract that struck me the most was the one showing
that 85 percent of mortgages were consuming at least 30 percent of
household income.

Let me show you:

Alden census tract.png

As the New York Times graphic
indicates, the percentage of households paying more than 30 percent of
their income to their mortgages has increased dramatically since 2000, a
byproduct of subprime lending and lost wages, no doubt.

For many of
these families, foreclosure is just one economic mishap away. It's an
economic high-wire act and many have already fallen to their doom.

Across the railroad track to the north of us are the Englewood and West
Englewood communities. A quick drive down the residential streets there
reveals that the problem is even worse--some blocks have almost emptied
entirely.

My fear is that as the abandoned and boarded properties
mount up the less likely these communities will be able to rebound--even
if the economy recovers.

Thanks for reading our series on our own neighborhoods. If you missed any of the previous entries, you can find Megan's, Kimbriell's, Angela's and Jeff's on our blog. But what about where you live? Take a look at data for your own neighborhood and tell us what it tells you about your neighbors. Leave us a comment, or share what you learned on twitter or facebook.

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