Tumblr Blog Sheds Light on American Housing Crisis

Mashable

America Underwater, a new Tumblr blog, is creating a community of Americans living in debt due to underwater mortgages.

The blog, launched by economic justice group Rebuild the Dream, highlights individual stories of the housing crisis while reminding those affected they are part of a significant trend.

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"The idea is to show how common and how big of a problem underwater mortgages are, while also putting a human face on the situation," says Jim Pugh, chief technical officer of Rebuild the Dream.

Tumblr was the natural choice, Pugh says, because of its emphasis on visuals and its accessibility. The popular Occupy Wall Street Tumblr We Are the 99 Percent inspired America Underwater.

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The idea for the blog spun from the case of southern California homeowner Arturo de los Santos, who Rebuild the Dream says is being unjustly evicted. Santos, a former marine, tried to rework his mortgage with his bank to get the interest rate adjusted. His bank told him to stop paying for seven months -- which he did -- but he was later evicted by J.P. Morgan Chase.

"The system they have now is not working," Pugh says. "We're trying to blow this up so there's more national attention."

SEE ALSO: HOW TO: Create a Group Tumblr Blog

In addition to sharing stories, America Underwater hopes to have the Obama administration replace Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) director Ed DeMarco with someone who will prioritize $300 billion of principal reduction.

America Underwater also hosts a data-driven website, which serves as an educational resource about the mortgage crisis and maps underwater mortgages by state. It estimates that some 11 million homeowners are drowning in their mortgage debt -- which is roughly 25% of all American mortgages.

What do you think of America Underwater? Do you think Tumblr can be a powerful storytelling tool? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Image via America-Underwater.tumblr.com


BONUS: 5 Non-Profits Winning on Tumblr


1. Draw in Outsiders

Tumblr's tags are a great way to appeal to people who've never heard of your non-profit.

Meatless Monday, which campaigns for people go meat-free for one day of the week, posts tasty food photos and recipes (like this one for grilled pepper ring pizza). A search for "pizza recipes," for example, can bring in new users that might not have known about the non-profit and its cause.

Click here to view this gallery.

This story originally published on Mashable here.

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