Chron: Brentwood Hammered by Subprime Crisis

Yesterday, the San Francisco Chronicle published a very nice piece on how the subprime market’s collapse can devastate communities, particularly those cities on the East Bay’s outer ring. Having plunged into a development binge, building thousands of new homes for the flood of people moving to the Bay Area, Brentwood now finds itself wracked by foreclosure threats. One in sixteen homes have fallen into default. Entire neighborhoods have emptied. Those homeowners who haven’t fallen into default have seen their houses devalued by 33 percent. Banks don’t maintain the properties, and armies of weeds blight the city’s avenues. Dope growers are breaking into empty homes and setting up marijuana cultivation sites. What was once a small, placid timeless farming community went through one of the most extreme boom-and-bust cycles we’ve seen since the oil craze hit Oklahoma.

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