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$22 Million Aid for Washington Region's Foreclosed Properties

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By : Leticia Carvalho    99 or more times read
In July 2008, the U.S. Congress passed a housing bill that would provide $3.92 billion to help rehabilitate foreclosed and vacant properties. Included in the bill are $22 million grants for Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. and counties of Prince Georgeís and Prince William.

Local governments must draft and submit their plans on how to use the grants to eradicate vacant properties to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Developmentís (HUD) Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Local governments have the options to buy foreclosed properties and rent or sell these homes to eligible low-income residents. They could also help people who want to buy the properties or they could purchase blocks of vacant properties, demolish the houses and keep the land until the housing markets improve.

The HUDís Neighborhood Stabilization program includes local grants provision for aid plans for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and also a package to help about 400,000 homeowners who are facing refinancing for their mortgages.

These grants will also help communities where home market values have declined due to abandoned, foreclosed and vacant houses.

Meanwhile, housing department officials in Prince George County have proposed to use the countyís $10.88 million grant to buy 40 homes that have been foreclosed, rehabilitate them and sell them to eligible low and middle income residents.

The Association of Realtors in Prince George has proposed offering loans to be used as down payments by residents who are interested to buy homes.

A total of $4.1 million has been awarded to Prince William County which plans to use the grants to help potential homebuyers who need down payments, closing and rehabilitation funds. Nonprofit organizations can also avail of the funds to create rental or homeownership plans.

Local governments have until December 1, 2008 to submit their foreclosure aid plans to the HUD and then commit their funds on projects 18 months after they have been approved.
Leticia Carvalho has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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