WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 4, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that Ohio will receive $172 million in funding for foreclosure-prevention assistance from the Housing Finance Agency Innovation Fund for the Hardest Hit Housing Markets (“Hardest Hit Fund”). The 4HM program, which uses leftover funds from the TARP program passed in 2008, will be expanded today to five additional states – including Ohio.
“This is a victory for Ohio communities,” Brown said. “Ohio is at the frontline of the foreclosure crisis and should have all the resources necessary to rebuild our communities. Too many Ohioans are trying to modify their mortgages so they can hold onto their homes, but getting nothing but the run around from their lenders. Too many communities are seeing vacant and abandoned properties that lower surrounding property values and compromise economic development. These homeowners and communities deserve more assistance and today the federal government is giving it to them.”
HFAs gathered public input and designed programs to meet the specific challenges facing struggling homeowners in their states. Ohio will use the funding to assist more than 18,500 homeowners through targeted programs, including:
• help unemployed borrowers pay their mortgage for up to 12 months while they search for a new job
• provide assistance to bring delinquent mortgage payments current for borrowers who experience hardships due to a reduction or loss of income or other unforeseen circumstances
• create a mortgage modification program to incentivize lenders to reduce homeowner’s mortgage principal value to 115 percent or less of the loan-to-value
• provide an incentive payment to the servicer as well as relocation aid to the borrower and payments in exchange for the release of second liens, in order to facilitate short sales
Ohio HFA submitted its Hardest Hit Fund proposals to Treasury on June 1. Treasury then reviewed the proposal to ensure compliance with the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) and offer technical assistance to develop performance and reporting metrics.
Brown is a leading proponent of providing assistance to communities affected by the housing crisis and population loss. He fought for the creation of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and the continuation of the program in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. In Sep. 2008, Brown announced that Ohio communities would receive more than $258 million in NSP funds authorized by the housing bill. In Sep. 2009, Brown wrote to Secretary Donovan in support of Ohio applicants to the second wave of funding through the NSP program.
Brown also introduced the Community Regeneration, Sustainability and Innovation Act of 2009 with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Reps. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Brian Higgins (D-NY). This legislation would create a new, competitive grant program within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) targeted toward cities and metropolitan areas experiencing large-scale property vacancy and abandonment due to long-term employment and population losses.
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