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Local Government Foreclosures Programs Deemed Too Slow



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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Housing advocates and neighborhood leaders across the nation are complaining about the slow implementation of programs funded by the federal government’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program in their communities.

The stabilization program was launched in July last year, rushed by federal officials and legislators to prevent the continued growth of private and government foreclosures, but until now, communities reeling from abandoned foreclosed homes have not yet seen results from the program.

In Atlanta, private-lender and government foreclosures continue to batter communities and declining home prices have increased the number of abandoned repo homes, worsening blight in neighborhoods.

The affordable housing nonprofit Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership studied home prices across metropolitan Atlanta and found that median home sales prices in neighborhoods hardest hit by private and government foreclosures fell by 16 percent during the second half of 2008.

John O’Callaghan, head of the neighborhood nonprofit, hopes the programs are implemented within the next 2 to 3 months to prevent the further slide of home prices and the further addition of private lender and government foreclosures to the foreclosure-overloaded housing market.

Likewise, Robert Welsh of the Dirty Truth Campaign called on local officials to move faster to be able to save more private and government foreclosures. The nonprofit organization tracks the effects of foreclosures in the zip code 30310 area, which includes Sylvan Hills, Pittsburg and southwest Atlanta communities.

In July last year, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program was funded with $4 billion, with funds allocated to states, counties and cities based on a formula that incorporated factors such as numbers of private-lender and government foreclosures, foreclosure rates, delinquent loans and household income. The federal Housing and Urban Development(HUD) also created parameters that would be followed by local governments in allocating and spending the funds.

With the level of Georgia foreclosures lower than those of hardest hit states such as California, Nevada and Florida, the state of Georgia received $153 million, with over $70 million set aside for metropolitan Atlanta counties. California and Florida received over $500 million each.

In response to complaints from various community organizations, local government officials in Atlanta said they have been brainstorming plans and seeking proposals from development companies. HUD officer Brian Sullivan argued it is better to implement the plan right rather than implement it quickly and then find out mistakes in the implementation.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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