Paul McMorrow’s Feb 5 op-ed “Housing recovery? Not for all” talks about Ramon Suero and his family’s battle against Freddie Mac. The op-ed notes that “toxic credit” created a housing bubble that trapped millions of working-class homeowners in underwater loans, and disproportionately drained the wealth from communities of color. Government-run Freddie Mac’s foreclosure policies are further assaulting the residents of these neighborhoods, but McMorrow is to be commended for looking beyond the victimization, to how the Sueros are fighting back against their threatened eviction.
I would like to add that the strength of Suero’s determination is rooted in the labor and social movements that he is part of, which supported him with a 50-person protest before his Boston Housing Court appearance. Members of UNITE HERE Local 26 and the housing justice nonprofit City Life/Vida Urbana pledged to block the eviction, if necessary.
A nonprofit lender has approved Suero for a new mortgage and made Freddie Mac a cash offer to buy the condo. The sale would save the bank money on eviction costs, while netting more than the other two condos in the building sold for. Freddie Mac’s counterproductive refusal to deal has had one good effect: It has brought together community and labor groups determined to fight it.
The writer is a community organizer with City Life/Vida Urbana.