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California County Qualifies to Receive $3.8 Million Housing Grant



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By : Leticia Carvalho    99 or more times read
The county of Ventura and its cities have qualified to receive 3.8 million grants to help homeowners and communities in the areas who were affected by the housing market crisis.

The grant, scheduled to be finalized in 2009, comes from the $4 billion emergency funds that were released by U.S. housing authorities. The funds will help cities purchase abandoned and foreclosed properties, renovate them, stabilize housing market prices and neighborhoods.

The $137 million allocated statewide will help reduce the number of California foreclosures, according to Chris Westlake, Housing and Community Development Department deputy director.

However, he said that the $137 million statewide fund is not enough to alleviate the California foreclosure problem. Westlake said that Ventura and its cities have until January 2009 to submit applications to show how they plan to use the grants. He expected that approval for the applications will be done within 30 days.

Ventura and its cities failed to qualify for the initial funds that federal officials gave to areas hardest hit by sub prime mortgages, delinquencies and foreclosures. However, Ventura County, along with its cities, qualified for state allocations.

Oxnard is the city eligible to receive the highest amount which is $1.4 million. Meanwhile, the rest of the county have qualified for a grant of $2.4 million.

Before the banking crisis hit the U.S., several community leaders in Ventura County have studied the possibility of purchasing foreclosed homes and turn them into transitional housing and shelters for poor and homeless people.

According to Westlake, this plan would have been qualified to use the grant. Non-profit executive Hugh Ralston explained that the planned conversion of homes has lost its steam due to real estate complexities, banking crisis and affordability issue.

He adds that the decline in the market value of properties has not reached a level where they are affordable to the type of structure needed for a shelter.
Leticia Carvalho has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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