By John Atlas on August 30, 2010
A week after Katrina hit New Orleans, Federal Government officials and private relief organizations were still discussing how to send aid to the area. ACORN, which had been organizing low-income and working class residents in the city since the 1978, had already moved into action.
Banks were giving their middle-class, mostly white customers ninety days or more to make their payments, but borrowers who had subprime, high-interest loans (like many black homeowners in the Lower Ninth Ward) were given only one month. Three weeks after the storm devastated the city, ACORN released a report, "How the sub prime mortgage industry is sandbagging Katrina-affected homeowners," to expose the industry's double standard. After the media publicized the report, ACORN—along with labor unions and consumer groups—demanded meetings with the banks and sub prime lenders and successfully negotiated plans to prevent foreclosures for dozens of homeowners.