Who Owns Your Neighborhood? The Role of Investors in Post-Foreclosure Oakland

Steve King

The Urban Strategies Council June 2012 report seeks to answer the question, “what happened to the homes that have gone through foreclosure in Oakland?” Field surveys of the properties owned by Oakland’s two largest foreclosure investors found that 93 percent of properties acquired by investors were located in low-income neighborhoods, that only ten of the top 30 foreclosure investors in Oakland are actually based in Oakland, and that 81 percent of the 10,508 completed foreclosures (since 2007) ended up being owned by banks or other financial institutions. Consequently, this spike in non-local ownership and non-owner occupied housing present concerns for asset building in low-income neighborhoods. The report recommends that banks and Government Sponsored Enterprises improve their first-look programs to give owner-occupant buyers and nonprofits priority to obtain foreclosure holdings.

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