Denver Direct: Elyria about to get Stabilized.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Elyria about to get Stabilized.

I’m guessing most Denver residents don’t even know where the Elyria neighborhood is located as they zoom over it on I-70. I probably wouldn’t either were it not for the fact that my first job in Denver, back in 1972, involved going house-to-house there to distribute leaflets for the Denver Public Schools to encourage enrollment in a GED program.

Tom Anthony, President of the Elyria Neighborhood Association, recently wrote:

I was just served notice that my adjustable-rate mortgage is ratcheting up by 2 percent in February. As president of my neighborhood association, I also received notice by the city of Denver about their Neighborhood Stabilization Program dated Nov. 14, for which the comment period ends Dec. 1 – Monday.

The plan involves the city taking possession of about $6 million in foreclosed properties by purchasing foreclosed mortgages from the banking industry that investors won’t buy. We believe the shortened comment period is due to the fact the banks want to unload their defaulted paper onto the taxpayers in time to make consumer loans for Christmas.

Another $10 million is being requested from the state for the purpose of purchasing and demolishing homes nobody wants, in neighborhoods nobody wants to live in. Thus, the “Neighborhood Stabilization Program” may direct up to 63 percent of its funding into purchasing and demolishing Denver homes and taking them out of the tax base.

While some Denver neighborhoods are getting Historical District status – which means it virtually takes an act of Congress to remove a house – other neighborhoods stand to be at least decimated by the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, in which an act of council can wipe out dozens if not hundreds of homes in one fell swoop. For this reason I must ask other neighborhoods to take note. Elyria Neighborhood has led the metro area in the foreclosure rate for nearly four years, ever since the Colorado Department of Transportation Web sited a proposed realignment of Interstate 70 that will put a 12-lane-wide stretch of that highway over our neighborhood.

Three years ago the average home price in was $147,000. Today it’s $61,000.

Not surprisingly we are a “starter home” neighborhood and lots of people had ARMs. When you sign on the line for an ARM you know you have to keep your credit good and also invest in your home so you can get a good appraisal, or else you won’t get a refinance and your interest rate will jump.

I and many of my neighbors agreed to these terms because we did intend to improve our real estate. We remodeled, improved, added on, restored, landscaped, painted, applianced and furbished. Often we used credit accounts to accomplish this. However, we did not foresee the realignment of a 12-lane interstate highway over our neighborhood.

It does little good to add a bathroom when your appraised value drops by 70 percent.

Elyria was incorporated in 1880. We don’t deserve this.

Read more here.