WBEZ | Geoff Smith http://www.wbez.org/tags/geoff-smith Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Foreclosures jump in Chicago as banks work through backlog http://www.wbez.org/story/foreclosures-jump-chicago-banks-work-through-backlog-97334 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-March/2012-03-15/P1000922.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Foreclosure filings in the Chicago metro area jumped 43 percent in February from a year ago.</p><p>The good news is that a jump in foreclosures means banks are working through their backlog and the end becomes closer in sight. But for homeowners, the bad news is that will probably drag down prices even more.</p><p>Geoff Smith heads the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University.</p><p>"There’s probably not going to be a lot of great news on the housing market for the next six months to a year in terms of property values, but this is something that has to happen," Smith said.</p><p>The housing data firm RealtyTrac says the number of foreclosure auctions scheduled in Illinois more than doubled in February.</p><p>Smith says banks are moving ahead now that they’ve reached a settlement with state attorneys general over shoddy paperwork and robo-signing.</p></p> Thu, 15 Mar 2012 19:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/foreclosures-jump-chicago-banks-work-through-backlog-97334 Recession worsens shortage of affordable rental housing http://www.wbez.org/story/recession-worsens-shortage-affordable-rental-housing-94045 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-14/3168468197_0c7c1d1344_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated on 11/15/11 at 11:20 a.m.</em></p><p><a href="https://ihs.depaul.edu/reports/CookCountyHousing2011.pdf">A new study</a> shows that Cook County’s persistent shortage of affordable rental housing has gotten even worse in recent years.</p><p>For years, the constraint on affordable housing came from the overheated real estate market. Developers converted apartments to condos, pushing out tenants. But then the recession hit, and people needed to downsize.</p><p>Geoff Smith is executive director of<a href="https://ihs.depaul.edu/ihs/?q=node/3"> DePaul University’s Institute for Housing Studies,</a> which published the report.</p><p>"More people essentially were making less money and needed to access affordable housing," Smith said.</p><p>He says the shortage of affordable rental housing now stands at 180,000 units in Cook County.</p><p>One problem, Smith says, is that banks are more cautious about making loans to people buying smaller apartment buildings – anything with fewer than 100 units.</p><p>"Those make up much of the affordable housing stock in Chicago and Cook County, but they tend to be the types of buildings that are more challenging to finance," Smith said.</p><p>According to the report, more than 97,000 units in multifamily buildings in Cook County have been part of a foreclosure auction.</p><p>The shortage of affordable rental properties is having the greatest impact on less affluent renters, many of whom are forced to pay more than recommended 30 percent of their monthly income for rent.&nbsp;</p><p>According to the study, households needed to make approximately $40,000 per year to afford the county’s median priced two-bedroom apartment, which was $1000 per month in 2010.&nbsp;</p><p>While rents have decreased slightly in Chicago and Cook County since 2008, they are still up overall during the last half of the previous decade.</p><p>The institute predicts the shortage will increase to 233,000 affordable rental units by the end of this decade.</p></p> Tue, 15 Nov 2011 06:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/recession-worsens-shortage-affordable-rental-housing-94045 New report finds African-American communities hit harder by the recession http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-11/new-report-finds-african-american-communities-hit-harder-recession-86374 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-11/Bankruptcy Flickr Smussyolay.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In Cook County, blacks are definitely feeling the recession. A recent study finds that African-American communities have a higher concentration of personal bankruptcy than white communities.<br> <br> The news is especially bad for women. To find out more, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> spoke to <a href="http://www.woodstockinst.org/staff/woodstock-institute-staff/geoff-smith/%22/" target="_blank">Geoff Smith</a>, Senior Vice President of the Woodstock Institute.<br> <br> Woodstock is the local research and policy organization who put out the report, "<a href="http://www.woodstockinst.org/publications/download/bridging-the-gap-ii%3a--examining-trends-and-patterns-of-personal-bankruptcy-in-cook-county%e2%80%99s-communities-of-color/" target="_blank">Bridging the Gap II: Examining Trends and Patterns of Personal Bankruptcy in Cook County’s Communities of Color</a>."</p><p><em>Music Button: Clutchy Hopkins meets Lord Kenjamin, "The Old Spot", from the CD Music Is My Medicine, (Ubiquity)</em></p></p> Wed, 11 May 2011 13:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-11/new-report-finds-african-american-communities-hit-harder-recession-86374 Foreclosures climbed for a sixth year in a row in the Chicago area http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago/foreclosures-climbed-sixth-year-row-chicago-area <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/foreclosuresign-AP_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For a sixth year in a row, foreclosure filings climbed in the Chicago region last year. &nbsp;<br /><br />Collar counties saw big year-over-year jumps. That&rsquo;s according to data from the housing research group Woodstock Institute. &nbsp;<br /><br />Polo Fabian works for Consumer Credit Counseling Service of McHenry County. He says banks aren&rsquo;t letting people reduce their mortgage payments and homeowners are choosing to walk away.<br /><br />&quot;A lot of people decide not to keep the house just because the house is now worth $100,000 and they owe $200,000,&quot; Fabian says. <br /><br />For the six-county region, foreclosure filings rose 14 percent. Geoff Smith of Woodstock Institute says this year could see another increase. <br /><br />&quot;Property values are not really expected to go up substantially, unemployment is not really expected to decline substantially anytime soon, so we&rsquo;re kind of locked in this situation and there&rsquo;s not really a clear path out of it,&quot; Smith says. <br /><br />And Smith says federal efforts to stop the foreclosure crisis have been a disappointment. <br />&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 10 Feb 2011 06:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago/foreclosures-climbed-sixth-year-row-chicago-area