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Last November, the City Council passed a Council Resolution to seek solutions for economically distressed Americans at the federal and local levels. Between 2009-2012 the foreclosure crisis is projected to cost Washington communities, homeowners and local governments approximately $3.7 billion.
The Office of Housing has recently provided $1,200,000 in funding for a new program as an innovative response to the current foreclosure crisis. The program is Homestead Community Land Trust’s new Acquisition and Rehab program and it is called Homestead Rebuilding Communities. The new program is funded in part by the 2009 Housing Levy. Housing Levy Homeownership funds through the Office of Housing will also be available for buyers when Homestead sells the homes to eligible low- and moderate-income buyers. Homestead homes, because the property is held in a long term housing trust, secure long-term affordability.
As required by this resolution, later this year, with the help of the Office of Housing, the Council will examine the number of home foreclosures in Seattle, the geographic neighborhoods in which the foreclosures are occurring, and lender information on homes involved in the foreclosure process. They’ll also look at circumstances and causes of foreclosures and foreclosure methods and practices of lenders, including reviewing apparent inequities many people in Seattle face when lender foreclosure proceedings occur. The Council has also asked the Office of Housing to make recommendations, as appropriate, for changes to the City’s Foreclosure Prevention Program, which provides stabilization loans to low‐income homeowners facing default.
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