A report released today by National People’s Action ranks Austin No. 1 in the number of foreclosed housing units out of 76 Chicago neighborhoods.

Austin tops the list with 2,206 housing units in foreclosure between January 2010 and March 2011. Belmont-Cragin is second with 1,977, and Humboldt Park is third with 1,498.

In all, nearly 50,000 housing units across the city have been impacted. In the last 18 months, there was a new foreclosure on 4.7 percent of the city’s housing units. That’s one out of every 21 homes or about two foreclosures per city block, on average.

Those numbers are even worse for many neighborhoods on the South and West sides, including Austin, the report found.

The report was unveiled Tuesday afternoon outside the Drake Hotel, where the National Association of Attorneys General is holding its summer meeting.

It was commissioned by National People’s Action, which is a member of the New Bottom Line campaign, a coalition of grassroots community, faith and labor organizations that has been pressing the country’s attorneys general – including Illinois’ Lisa Madigan – to reach a strong settlement with the nation’s largest banks. The AGs have been investigating the financial services industry for mortgage fraud.

Tuesday, clergy and homeowners called on the attorney generals to insist on a settlement agreement that includes principal reductions for millions at risk of foreclosure; criminal penalties for bankers who committed mortgage fraud; restitution for families who lost their homes due to fraud; and strict enforcement of the settlement terms on the banks.

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