The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Charles D. Jackson, Communications Director, at 504-994-4669, or communications(at)

Crisis Continues on Main Street; ACORN Asks, "Where's Hope?"


On Oct. 1, ACORN members in more than 30 cities will visit their local offices of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to turn in "applications" for the "HOPE for Homeowners" program that takes effect today - demonstrating that Congress has yet to pass a bill that will provide any real help for homeowners. ACORN members are demanding that Congress provide real leadership in stemming the foreclosure crisis which is adversely affecting financial markets in the United States and all over the world.

The proposed bailout plan currently being debated in Congress does not contain any help for the millions of Americans caught in the foreclosure crisis. Neither does the "HOPE for Homeowners" program - intended to encourage mortgage lenders to renegotiate loans to affordable terms for homeowners, this program is ineffective because lender participation is voluntary and not a single lender has signed up to participate - making it clear that homeowners do not have any more "hope" today than they did yesterday.

"It was strange to see those who had said everything was fine wake up one day last week and decide we were finally in a crisis and something had to be done," said ACORN President Maude Hurd. "We've known there was a crisis with foreclosures for more than a year now, and nothing Congress has done will make a dent in the crisis we see on Main Street.

"It is imperative that we continue to press for solutions to fix the underlying problem here: Unaffordable mortgages that families cannot afford. We need the Hope for Homeowners program up and running on all cylinders, we need a real commitment from Secretary Paulson to pursue aggressive modifications of the mortgages underlying the assets purchased by Treasury, and the government must decisively use its conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to achieve sustainable modifications. Finally, we need bankruptcy reform so that judges can restructure some mortgages on principal residences to affordable terms," said Hurd.

"As shown by the massive number of homeowners still in urgent need of help, this crisis is far from over and demands leadership commensurate with the enormity of the challenges we face - the kind of leadership we just aren't seeing in Washington now," Hurd concluded.

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities. Since 1970, ACORN has grown to more than 350,000 member families, organized in 850 neighborhood chapters in over 100 cities across the U.S. and in cities in Argentina, Peru, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Canada.