Housing

Eminent domain for mortgages

Eminent domain for mortgages

Brockton, other cities consider novel idea

ON THE MORNING OF SEPTEMBER 28, Brockton police arrested 51-year old Tyrone Hubbard and his two sons for trespassing in their own home. Fannie Mae, the federally chartered purchaser of mortgages, was foreclosing on Hubbard’s house and wanted him out. Trying in vain to make peace was City Councilor Jass Stewart, who had arrived to(...)

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Pairing social services with housing saves money, improves lives

Pairing social services with housing saves money, improves lives

It is a rare and precious thing in government when “doing good deeds” coincides with sound fiscal responsibility and actually saves money. Just in the last few weeks Beacon Hill legislators unanimously approved and Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill that will help the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable populations meet their housing needs and avoid moving(...)

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What’s up with the sales tax?

What’s up with the sales tax?

Sales tax receipts normally behave like you’d expect them to: They rise when the economy is expanding, and fall when unemployment spikes. Data from across the country show that, historically, sales taxes track the business cycle closely. Over the past decade, though, the Massachusetts sales tax became decoupled from the state’s economy. Some revenue has(...)

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Essex official wants to sue over mortgage mess

Essex official wants to sue over mortgage mess

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); John O’Brien is a national folk hero to anti-foreclosure activists. The Southern Essex Register of Deeds has garnered national attention by accusing big banks of acting like a “criminal(...)

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Going ‘Freddie’ in Florida

The Republican presidential primary entered a new and brutal phase when it rolled into Florida yesterday, with Mitt Romney going sharply negative on the suddenly re-resurgent Newt Gingrich. Romney is trying hard to link Gingrich to Florida’s depressed housing market via Freddie Mac, the bailed-out mortgage company that paid Gingrich $1.7 million to act as(...)

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From American Dream to “American Scream”

“Occupy” protesters with tents pitched in city parks and loud marches in scores of US cities have been beating a drum figuratively — and sometimes literally — about the economic angst Americans are feeling at a time when those at the very top are doing better than ever. Long before anyone descended on Zuccotti Park(...)

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97.4

97.4

Massachusetts’s score on MassINC’s middle-class index shows only a slight drop since the start of the decade, but some of the data are ominous

the bay state economy expanded by more than 10 percent last decade—8 percent growth on a per capita basis after accounting for inflation. It’s not the Massachusetts Miracle, but given that we were nearing the peak of the tech boom in 2000, and in 2010 we were barely emerging from an even bigger bust, these(...)

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Out of reach

Out of reach

The housing bubble burst six years ago, but homeownership is even more elusive today for middle-class families in Massachusetts

Jeffrey Goldstein lived the American Dream growing up. His father joined the postwar exodus from the city, and got his own piece of land out in the suburbs. Like many families in the postwar real estate boom, Goldstein’s father was the first in his family to own a piece of the rock. For Goldstein’s father’s(...)

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