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MacArthur Foundation Pledges $68 Million to Abate Chicago



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By : Leticia Carvalho    99 or more times read
The charitable organization, MacArthur Foundation has committed $68 million to help organizations that fight the foreclosure problem in Chicago. The investment is considered as the most significant support provided by a private entity to help people avoid foreclosures.

MacArthur Foundation aims to reduce the number of vacant properties to alleviate the housing crisis in Chicago. It hopes that its investment will attract additional $500 million funds from other sources willing to help address the foreclosure problem.

The foundation plans to help about 10,000 households and to counsel an average of 6,000 borrowers. It hopes to prevent foreclosures on 2,700 homes by 2010.

The bulk of the money will be given to eight neighborhoods under the MacArthur Foundation’s New Communities Program. Under the program, the foundation has spent $150 million for the rejuvenation of 16 neighborhoods.

Jonathan Fanton, president of MacArthur Foundation, said that the home crisis in Chicago is threatening to eradicate progress in communities. He cited results of the foundation’s 2006 community vitality index, which showed improvement in almost half of the communities in the New Communities Program.

Michelle Collins, Shorebank’s senior vice president, mortgage lending, welcomes MacArthur Foundation’s help which he claims is a big start in solving the housing market crisis in Chicago. MacArthur Foundation is set to give ShoreBank $15 million.

Another recipient of the grant money from MacArthur Foundation, Neighborhood Housing Services, noted that the investment had boost its outreach services and counseling.

Neighborhood Housing’s home ownership services director Mike Vanzalingen said that the organization was able to save about 300 homes from foreclosure in 2007. He adds that the organization plans to use MacArthur Foundation’s grant to save about 600 to 800 homeowners in 2008 and 2009.

Molly Sullivan, Chicago’s director of housing department, believes that MacArthur Foundation’s goal to alleviate the housing problem in the city is achievable.
Leticia Carvalho has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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