HOUSING DEBT CRISIS WORKSHOP AND LISTENING SESSION
August 22 in Helena
... A community dialogue about the housing debt crisis in Helena and across Montana
... and about what we can do together to ease that crisis
... open to all interested persons who care about the immense housing debt that is affecting and devastating so many of our Helena and Montana families.
· Thursday, August 22
· at St. Paul's Methodist Church, 512 Logan, Community Room -- 7pm
· Co-sponsored by:
o Strike Debt Helena MT (an OCCUPY HELENA Economic Justice Group Working on Debt) -- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Strike-Debt-Helena-MT-Helena-Economic-Justice-Group-Working-on-Debt/181532472002490
The event will include a panel of speakers knowledgeable about housing debt in Helena and across Montana, including:
· persons affected by foreclosure crises who have successfully fought back against unjust, fraudulent bank/landed practices,
· persons who work daily with people facing housing and financial emergencies
· Montana state government housing officials,
· Montana state consumer protection attorneys working on housing debt fraud by banks and with housing counselors (funded by fraud settlements with banks) who are in daily contact with people struggling with a foreclosure crisis
· attorneys working on housing problems caused primarily by unjust practices of banks and mortgage lenders, and
· fair housing advocates.
The HOUSING DEBT CRISIS WORKSHOP panel will include:
· Sheena Rice of Billings: an affordable housing advocate who works as an organizer for the Montana Organizing Project. Rice will talk about the Montana Organizing Project’s concerns about economic justice and fairness issues and about the failures of federal policies and actions since the 2008 financial crisis.
· Chuck Munson of Helena: an attorney in the Montana Attorney General’s Office and the Montana Office of Consumer Protection. Munson will talk about the work of the Montana Office of Consumer Protection and its work on housing foreclosure prevention and will describe available state programs and resources for foreclosure prevention.
· Jeannenne Maas of Helena: a staff member of the Montana Board of Housing, a division of the Montana Department of Commerce. Maas will describe the activities of the Montana Board of Housing, a major mortgage holder in Montana, in the area of housing foreclosures and foreclosure prevention.
· Becca Titus of Missoula: a member of the Missoula Foreclosure Defense Team of Occupy Missoula. Titus will talk about her own successful foreclosure struggle and victory and will describe what she and members of the Missoula foreclosure defense group have been doing to help others.
· Flint Murfitt of Helena: an attorney for Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) in Helena. Murfitt will describe the work MSLA has done with about 170 Helena area families facing a housing foreclosure crisis.
· Teresa Schlauch of Helena: Director of the Good Samaritan Ministries in Helena
· and Joe Wojton of Helena: Co-Manager of God’s Love Homeless Shelter in Helena
-- Schlauch and Wojton will share some experiences and stories of homeless or near-homeless people who have come to God’s Love and to the Good Samaritan for housing crisis assistance
-- to describe the reality and urgency of housing debt (or no money for housing at all) and homelessness.
· Jan Siemers of Helena: a long time economic justice activist and founding member of Strike Debt Helena MT, to describe the work, ideas and plans of this Occupy Helena Economic Justice Group Working on Debt and the work of the national Strike Debt movement
· Frank Kromkowski of Helena: economic justice and peace advocate, member of Strike Debt Helena MT, will serve as panel/dialogue moderator.
According to Kromkowski, the co-sponsors of the August 22 Housing Debt Crisis Workshop and Listening Session are part of “a grassroots movement for economic justice and debt solutions for the 99%, working to bring people together to promote creative community remedies for the immense housing debt problems we face as individuals, families, and as a Helena and Montana community.”
MORE in the attached files.