Category Archives: Uncategorized

Will vacancy cost Obama votes?

It’s hard to do grassroots canvassing when most of the neighborhood is in foreclosure.

“The nation’s foreclosure crisis rarely is mentioned by the presidential candidates, but it looms large as their campaigns grapple with finding evicted voters in swing states.

Organizers are discovering scores of vacated homes in key battlegrounds that contributed strong turnouts in the 2008 election. In the past four years, more than 3.7 million homes have been lost to foreclosure, according to market research firm CoreLogic. Continue reading

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The Worst Neighbor? A Bank

photo credit: Tess Vigeland (via

I just heard a really poignant Marketplace report on the impact of vacancy on neighborhoods.  With the rash of foreclosures following the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, many properties came into the sole possession of banks, including Bank of America and JPMorgan.  Putting aside the damage done by the foreclosure process itself, what is perhaps more destructive is the vacancy that follows.

The biggest issue?  Banks don’t take care of these properties.  And it’s easy for disrepair to become blight, especially in a neighborhood plagued by systemic vacancy. Continue reading

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How Do You Summarize Bike & Build?

After 70 intense days, Bike & Build has come to a close.  Looking back on the experience, I can’t find an easy way to explain it.

I’m going to be posting some reflective pieces, largely about my experiences with affordable housing across the nation.  To get a taste for our Bike & Build day-to-day, I think my trip pictures are probably going to be most illustrative.  I am currently organizing my trip photos – there are several hundred of them – and will share a link here as soon as they are done.

Thanks again for all of your support.

We Did It!

After 70 days and over 3500 miles, NC2SD 2012 has safely reached the Pacific Ocean.  From Nags Head, North Carolina to San Diego, California, we biked, built, experienced new things, had a lot of fun, and pushed ourselves to believe that such a big task was achievable.

At last, the Pacific

I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone that has supported this journey.  Donations, care packages, calls, texts, letters, and even just words of encouragement on Facebook – this trip would not have been possible without your support.  Thank you for believing in me and this cause.

Over the next several weeks, I will be sharing pictures from the trip and writing some reflective posts.  Stay tuned to the blog for these items.