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Foreclosure Houses for Sale under Minneapolis Advantage Plan

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Foreclosure houses for sale in Minneapolis, including more than 140 residential units seized by state officials in the northern part of the city last year from a fraudulent mortgage scheme, will be fixed and resold under the expanded Minneapolis Advantage program.

Under the original program, the city encouraged homebuyers to purchase foreclosure properties in distressed communities by helping them with their down payments and closing costs. The program has been successful, but because of funding problems, city officials decided to reduce funding for the program by 50 percent.

In response, housing officials found a way to continue carrying out the program and even to expand it by teaming up with the city of Brooklyn Park in Hennepin County to apply for additional funding from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Housing officials said that the program has been very successful in managing vacant properties and mitigating foreclosures, so they are committed to continue pursuing the program.

The Minneapolis-Brooklyn partnership applied for almost $40 million from the NSP to finance the foreclosure mitigation programs of the two cities, with Minneapolis city officials planning to put $2 million into the Minneapolis Advantage program.

As of October, the Advantage program has already bought and repaired several hundred foreclosure houses for sale and has demolished dilapidated properties.

Tom Streitz, housing director for Minneapolis, said that the hundreds being rehabilitated under the program may not be substantial compared to the estimated 3,000 residential units entering foreclosure listings every year over the past 3 years, in addition to properties seized from mortgage frauds.

But Streitz insisted that the ripple effect of one foreclosed but rehabilitated house can benefit the whole community.

In a nationwide report on foreclosures, foreclosure filings in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area soared by nearly 99 percent in the July to September period to 9,767 filings, representing one foreclosure filing for every 136 households in the area.

Bill Buelow, construction director for the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation, said that in some streets where vacant homes almost equal the number of occupied houses, the rehabilitation of one unit means one step up the ladder of recovery.

GMHC is among major nonprofits helping Minneapolis acquire, fix and resell foreclosed houses, including the more than 140 homes that were abandoned when the $35-million TJ Waconia mortgage scam perpetrators were caught and put into federal prison.

The abandoned homes put downward pressure on home values, prompting city officials to launch the Advantage program to put responsible families into vacant homes and foreclosure houses for sale.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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