Monday, March 28, 2011

Bank of America: Good Guys?

Bank of America will pay to demolish 100 homes in Detroit. These are homes owned by BoA which means BoA foreclosed on the houses. While donating the land to the City of Detroit is a noble concept, I just itch to hear the story of the foreclosures on what BoA is calling abandoned houses. This is good public relations for the richest bank in America, although I wonder if the demolition of 100 repossessed homes in Detroit neighborhoods really has the $1,000,000 pricetag BoA claims. And tax write-offs? Getting the properties off the books? I'm suspicious of motivation here. CEO Moynihan is glad to "help right-size" the city. Oy! BoA will also offer 10 renovated homes on their books to police officers who may (or may not) return to the city. A 1999 state law ended city residency requirements. I lived in the city from 1977 to 1988, in East English Village, one of Mayor Bing's designated enhanced city services areas. There are beautiful homes there still. The other houses are in Boston-Edison, a once fabulous neighborhood, trying hard to come back to its former grandeur. Mayor Bing will choose the houses to renovate. If this is a multiple choice exercise, then BoA also owns more than a dozen foreclosures in those neighborhoods as well. My higher self wants to believe BoA is trying to do good deeds. My other self wonders if BoA bought itself a new PR firm.

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