News & Media

Faith leaders fight foreclosures & blight in southern California

February 20, 2009

Faith in Action Kern County

On February 17, over 550 community members from PICO affiliate Faith in Action Kern County attended a town-hall meeting with local, regional, and federal officials, as well as representatives from Wells Fargo bank, to call for specific action steps to stem the tide of foreclosures and blight in Kern County.

Faith in Action leaders won a number of key commitments that will help county residents weather the housing and economic crisis, including:

  1. A representative from Wells Fargo agreed to work with local city, county and non-profit agencies to help them purchase Real-Estate Owned properties at a discount, as well as arrange meetings with Wells Fargo borrowers in Faith in Action congregations.
  2. HUD Regional Director Rollie Smith agreed to find new resources to fund more HUD-certified foreclosure counselors for Kern County, and Federal Reserve Regional Director Darryl Rutherford agreed to bring more lenders to the County for borrower fairs and other events so borrowers can meet with lenders face-to-face.
  3. Kern County and City Community and Economic Development Directors - including the Housing Authority - agreed to work with Faith in Action to leverage Neighborhood Stabilization Funds and target specific hard-hit neighborhoods in east and central Bakersfield.
  4. A representative from Congressman Jim Costa's office agreed to coordinate a meeting between the Congressman and Faith in Action leaders when they visit Washington, DC in March.

Over the coming weeks, Faith in Action grassroots leaders will convene a meeting of local non-profits, banks, city and county agencies, HUD and the Federal Reserve to follow up on commitments that were made at the event.

On March 9 - 11, five Faith in Action grassroots leaders will join 200 leaders from PICO National Network in Washington, DC to meet with Congressional leaders and the Obama Administration to discuss how the foreclosure crisis is severely hurting families and communities of Kern County and call for aggressive action.

For more information on Faith in Action Kern County, visit www.faithinactionkerncounty.org