Single-mom Claims Victory Over Foreclosure Proceeding

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

By: Ashmar Mandou

It was a triumphant victory for single-mom Marcia Iza as she along with the help of Centro Autónomo, a non-profit community organization in Albany Park celebrated the end of a foreclosure and eviction process with a press conference on May 2nd.

“We at Centro Autónomo understand the importance of being able to work with a family that was placed in imminent eviction three times and the benefit of keeping Marcia and her family in their home by acquiring the property under our CLT,” said Thomas Hansen, executive director Centro Autónomo/Mexico-US Solidarity Network.

Iza, an immigrant woman from Mexico, endured spousal abuse and during the lengthy divorce process her husband quit making house payments, which resulted in putting the home into foreclosure proceeding. Iza was forced to live with her daughter, Elizabeth and granddaughter. According to Iza, Fannie Mae attempted to remove the family from their home of 14 years three times during the years the property was in foreclosure.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Finally, Iza decided to seek help from Centro Autónomo. Just after three short years, Iza became a leading member of Centro’s housing movement fighting not only for her own home, but also serving as an example of a community member demanding housing rights. After four years, Centro Autónomo launched Casas del Pueblo Community Land Trust (CLT) where they are able to create affordable housing and prevent evictions in communities of color in Chicago. It was through CLT that Iza was able to stay in her home.

The Iza family is now living in the house under a community-backed rental agreement with Casas del Pueblo CLT with an option to buy the home from CLT in the future. This type of 3rd-party buyback policy implemented by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) via a community-based 501(c)3 is one of the first of its kind on a national level.

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