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Boston Foreclosures to be Reclaimed with $13.6M NSP Money

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Boston foreclosures will be turned into affordable housing units using the $13.6 million the city received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under the second funding round of its Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

The money will be used to acquire and fix vacant distressed properties in the most foreclosure-battered neighborhoods of East Boston, Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan and Roxbury. According to city officials, there are 860 dilapidated foreclosure properties across the city that need to be rehabilitated, 275 of which are located in the five neighborhoods.

Aaron Gorstein, head of the Citizens Housing and Planning Association, said that his group is going to continue working with the office of Mayor Thomas Menino to put bankruptcy homes and other derelict properties into productive use.

Boston has been rehabilitating foreclosure properties under a program launched with help from Bank of America. Now, it is carrying out the program with assistance from additional backers like Wells Fargo and Fannie Mae. It has already acquired 17 foreclosures and has chosen 44 more units to purchase.

A study from the University of Massachusetts in Boston found that a big portion of Boston foreclosures resulted from risky mortgages provided to black and Latino homeowners. The study said that more than 50 percent of blacks and Latinos who took out home loans were provided with subprime loans, far above the 13-percent share of white borrowers.

According to Warren Group, foreclosure activity in Massachusetts slowed in November last year, but is expected to rise again because of the increase in mortgage defaults.

Actual foreclosures in the state decreased in November 2009 to 701 units, a 21-percent drop from the 888 deeds posted in November 2008 and a 23-percent drop from the 912 deeds filed in October 2009.

Total foreclosure postings in the state from January to November 2009 reached 8,409, marking a drop of 27 percent from the 11,494 posted during the same 11-month period in 2008.

Foreclosure filings in November totaled 1,937, down by 16 percent from 2,296 petitions in October but up by 45 percent from 1,335 petitions in November 2008.

Through the 11-month period from January to November 2009, nearly 26,000 foreclosure petitions were filed, a 29-percent jump from 20,179 petitions during the same 11-month period in 2008.

With the slowdown in Boston foreclosures, the drop in the unemployment rate and increase in single-family house sales, analysts hope that the city continues to recover in 2010.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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