Interfaith group seeks help from banks in housing crisis

Jeremy Borden, Washington Post, Oct.31, www.washingtonpost.com/local/interfaith-group-seeks-help-from-banks-in-housing-crisis/2011/10/30/gIQAhPAzZM_story.html

Members from more than 40 religious institutions across Northern Virginia are asking some of the country’s largest banks to commit to helping rebuild neighborhoods that have been devastated by housing foreclosures.

Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) drew a crowd of about 900 congregants, political leaders and representatives of two major financial institutions — Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase — to Freedom High School in Woodbridge on Sunday to discuss the issue.

Leaders of the two-year-old interfaith group — representing every major religion — say they hope that pressure on banks from area congregations helps struggling homeowners and assists in rebuilding neighborhoods.

Venus Miller, a VOICE leader who attends Mount Olive Baptist Church in Woodbridge, said she hopes the banks agree to help because it is the right thing to do. “But wouldn’t that be great to put the fear of God in them?”

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