The subprime mortgage foreclosure crisis has presented a very unique opportunity that two groups across the nation are taking major advantage of.
The ‘crisis’ came about primarily because Fannie and Freddie relaxed their qualifications for obtaining a mortgage. People who 10 years ago would not have qualified (because they had no down payment and didn’t have sufficient income and job history), have been able to qualify under the new relaxed rules. Lower end neighborhoods across the country were flooded with these ‘subprime’ borrowers over the past few years. All of these people suddenly able to get loans (that we now know many could not afford) and becoming home buyers drove prices up in marginal neighborhoods and people who previously had no interest in selling suddenly were being offered enough money that selling became appealing.
Neighborhoods that were once relatively stable became filled with subprime borrowers who couldn’t make their payments and were foreclosed on. This resulting in entire neighborhoods with sometimes 50% or more of the homes on the market all at once and many for very low prices.
Muslims wasted little time with this opportunity. In some cases local mosques informally coordinate the selection of target neighborhoods for families to begin buying in to. In other cases a more formal representation group has worked with local housing authorities to assist with Muslims buying numbers of houses within a defined area.
GLBT folks were a bit slow but are quickly catching up. In some cities they’re hosting day long open house events in neighborhoods with realtors and housing authorities. All of the available properties are open for inspection and in many cases local GLBT groups or others provide wine and cheese to make it a truly enjoyable event.