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National Small Cities and Towns Day to focus on impact of foreclosures.

With home mortgage foreclosures reaching all-time highs, the Steering Committee of NLC's Small Cities Council will use the observance of National Small Cities and Towns Day on July 20 to raise awareness about the impact of this crisis on the nation's smaller communities.

Although often considered only a big city problem, the nation's smaller cities and towns also face significant challenges from predatory lending practices and rising home mortgage foreclosures. In its May 2007 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, RealtyTrac showed foreclosure filings--default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions--up 19 percent from the previous month and up nearly 90 percent from May 2006.

Now communities are also seeing the ripple effects of rising home foreclosures, including decreased tax bases and property values for entire neighborhoods, increased crime rates in some areas, decreased interest in public and private investment, increased pest control problems with vacant homes and the loss of neighborhood camaraderie.

"The stability of entire communities is rooted in the economic health and security of our friends and neighbors," said Charles Henderson, mayor, Greenwood, Ind., and chair of the NLC Small Cities Council.

NLC is working with Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, as well as Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the Financial Services Committee, and other members of Congress to address the current system of housing finance as well as the growing problem of predatory lending.

The Small Cities Council Steering Committee will meet in Greenwood on July 19-21 for its annual summer meeting. National Small Cities and Towns Day is regularly scheduled to coincide with this meeting. Communities issue proclamations and organize events to focus attention on the special and unique aspects of life in what is traditionally thought of as "hometown America." A press conference to mark the occasion and highlight the foreclosure issue will begin at 1:30 p.m. on July 20 at the Greenwood Police Training Facility.

In addition to a presentation and discussion of foreclosures and predatory lending, the steering committee will also discuss the impact of the latest wave of immigration on smaller communities and media violence and its impact on children. NLC President and Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson has been working to raise awareness about the harmful affects of media violence and encourage communities of all sizes to start discussions on the issue.
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Title Annotation:Steering Committee of NLC's; mortgage foreclosures
Author:Brooks, James
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 16, 2007
Previous Article:Senate Finance Committee inches toward SCHIP agreement.
Next Article:Fonda Richardson, former NLC staffer, dies.

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