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Merced County Receives $7 Million in Foreclosure Money



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By : Leticia Carvalho    99 or more times read
Finally, Merced County is set to receive $7 million in foreclosure aid from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) after having been left out in HUD’s list of counties and cities to receive aid directly from HUD.

Merced County’s aid of $7 million will come from the $145 million given to the state of California, which was given separately from the $384 million released directly to California’s counties and cities.

With 5,913 foreclosed homes and a foreclosure rate of 12.5 percent, Merced County accounts for the biggest portion of California foreclosures compared to other counties and cities in the state. Despite that, the county was still overlooked when HUD released $384 million to California’s counties and cities.

The omission set off reactions from citizen groups and local leaders in the county, specifically Representative Dennis Cardoza, who then sent angry letters to HUD. With the HUD funds already allocated to certain counties and cities, Merced County had to compete to get a share from the $145 million given to the state government. The California Department of Housing and Community, who was mandated to divide the $145 million, allocated $7 million to Merced County.

The total of $529 million given by the federal government to solve California foreclosures is part of the $3.9-billion Neighborhood Stabilization Program approved by Congress in the summer.

Although Cardoza was pleased that Merced County was prioritized by the state, he still asserts that the $7 million is not enough to solve the foreclosure crisis in the Central Valley. He vowed to work for more funds to be allocated to the area.

Candice Steelman, spokeswoman of the Merced County Association of Government, also said that the allocation is too small compared to the high number of foreclosed homes in the county. She however explained that the money could be maximized with more practical solutions, such as involving Habitat for Humanity in the rebuilding efforts.
Leticia Carvalho has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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