How’s the neighborhood?


Now that the ice has thawed and Minneapolis residents are shaking off that long hibernation, the cusp of spring is revealing new colors: red foreclosure signs on front doors; orange letters of condemnation; gray, city-placed plywood covering windows and doors to keep vacant homes from being stripped of copper.

The glut of vacant and foreclosed homes doesn’t show any sign of slowing down, even though the number of subprime mortgages resetting peaked last summer. In fact, in Minneapolis, the number of foreclosures so far is outpacing those of 2007, according to CPED and Hennepin County Sheriff Records.

The hardest hit communities this year are once again Camden (149 foreclosures from January through March 12 of this year), Near North (141), and Powderhorn (79). And as a result, the 3rd and 4th Precincts, which cover most of South and North Minneapolis, are also now home to more than 780 abandoned houses, according to the city’s regulatory services division.

No community is spared from the increase in foreclosures, save for University, which saw only 22 foreclosures last year and only two as of March 12. By comparison, tony Southwest was hit with 29 foreclosures during that time, and Calhoun/Isles had 12.

As of April 9, the total number of foreclosed homes in Minneapolis this year was 813. At that rate, Minneapolis could suffer as many as 3,300 foreclosed homes this year. The city saw 2,895 foreclosures in all of 2007.