By Juhi Varma
The Problem Properties Unit (PPU) of the Mayor’s Office held a “Foreclosure Informational Forum” on Thursday, January 17, at the Jackson Suite on Center Street.
“After my first year in office, this was one of the most dominant issues that we heard about in the mayor’s office,” said Mayor Gary Christenson. “You would think it would be taxes or streets and sidewalks or crime, but a lot of calls we get have to do with housing. That’s what prompted us to start looking into this more, and here we are tonight.”
The aim of the event was to offer information and help Malden residents facing foreclosure; it included presentations from a number of speakers on the subject of foreclosures, underwater mortgages, and eviction preventions. Attendees had a chance to meet face-to-face with local leaders and discuss their issues. The entire event was filmed by Malden Access Television (MATV).
“We got a lot of calls from people who’re facing these problems,” said PPU Coordinator Maria Luise. “Many were reluctant to attend since people would know they’re facing evictions or foreclosures.” She continued, “After the presentation, people will have a chance to meet and ask questions.”
“The most important issue—after my first year—is housing, foreclosures, bank evictions,” said the mayor when he addressed the room. “We have made it a point from here on in to provide the resources for our residents who need help facing foreclosures and bank evictions.”
The evening’s speakers included representatives from City Life/Vida Urbana; the City of Malden’s Permits, Inspections and Planning Services; Greater Boston Legal Services; The Malden Redevelopment Authority; and Tri-City Community Action Program. The Mayor’s Office held the forum to remind Malden residents that evictions and foreclosures are widespread problems and help is available from a number of sources for those who need it.