NEW YORK — New York City officials on Tuesday unveiled plans to build more than 1,000 new construction signs in foreclosure, a move they hope will help ease the foreclosure crisis gripping the city.
Newly appointed Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the signs, which will be built along the east side of the iconic World Trade Center site, will serve as reminders of the “sadness” and “disgrace” of the city’s situation.
“There’s a sadness that is real and there’s a shame that is palpable and that people are living in these horrible circumstances,” he said.
Bloomberg said the city would be spending $6.5 million on new signs and that they would include “a message of hope, a message of strength, a call to action.”
The signs will be installed along a stretch of the East Side, between 42nd and 44th Streets, where more than a third of the buildings of the former World Trade center site are located.
The signs, each about 8 feet high, will be on the east face of the World Trade building, which is owned by the city, and will feature messages like, “Take a stand,” “Stop the cycle of foreclosure,” and “We need to fix this,” according to a news release from the city that will be unveiled Tuesday.
More than 300 of the new signs will also be erected on the site of the defunct World Trade, Bloomberg said.
The city, which has spent more than $200 million on signs, will spend another $25 million to help pay for the new signage.
“We want to show the people who are being impacted by the foreclosure situation that New York City is here to stay and is working together with New Yorkers to rebuild,” Bloomberg said in a statement.
The mayor said he was inspired to create the signs because of the economic hardship and the “disappointing” news that his city had become in the face of foreclosure.
The new signs, expected to be installed by the end of next month, will show people that New Yorkers are working hard to rebuild their lives and their communities, he said, adding that he hoped the signs would serve as a reminder of the good in people’s lives.
In the last two years, the city has seen the number of people foreclosed on double to 8,500, according to Bloomberg.
“The people of New York are still trying to find their footing, and there are so many other things we have to do,” Bloomberg added.
“We just have to keep working together to keep this city on its feet and get the job done.”
The city has faced a wave of foreclosures that began after the 2008 financial crisis, and the new plan marks the first time it has taken action in the aftermath of a foreclosing crisis.
More than 200,000 people have lost their homes during the crisis, Bloomberg has said.
The city’s unemployment rate is at an all-time high of 8.7 percent.