Washington, D.C. – March 29, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) announced that Ohio will receive $172 million for housing assistance through the second round of federal Housing Finance Agency Hardest Hit Funds from the U.S. Treasury. Save the Dream Ohio, which provides information on resources and assistance available to renters and homeowners facing foreclosure, will work with the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) to administer the funds to help homeowners.
“2009 brought a record-breaking number of foreclosures for working Ohioans,” Rep. Sutton said. “With more than 15 percent of mortgages in the state delinquent or in foreclosure, we reached an absolute tipping point. Many Ohio homeowners continue to struggle during these challenging economic times, and this important funding will give homeowners a real chance to save their home.”
The HFA Hardest Hit Fund is designed to be flexible, allowing HFAs to develop creative, effective approaches that consider local conditions. The HFA program is aimed at preventing avoidable foreclosures through – unemployment programs, mortgage modifications, short sales, principle reduction programs – allowing responsible but struggling American families stay in their homes.
Ohio is one of the five additional states to receive a total of $600 million from the federal government’s Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. This second round of the Hardest Hit Fund is targeting states with high concentrations of people living in economically distressed areas in which the unemployment rate exceeded 12 percent in 2009. Currently, less than 15 percent of the U.S. population lives in such economically distressed areas. However, high levels of unemployment and the decline in home values present a challenge for many working and middle-class families.
The Obama Administration previously awarded $1.5 billion through the Hardest Hit Fund to Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, and Nevada. When the program debuted in February, it only included states where housing prices decreased greater than 20 percent. In response to Ohio not making the cut, Rep. Sutton and members of the Ohio delegation sent a letter to the Obama Administration requesting that Ohio be included.
Under the newly announced round, five states with highest concentrations of people in living in economically distressed areas, which is defined as areas where the unemployment rate exceeded 12 percent in 2009, are included. They are Ohio, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina.