Wednesday, August 13, 2008

David Abromowitz: Innovative State and Local Approaches to Containing the Spread of Foreclosures


David Abromowitz


While $4 billion in community development block grant neighborhood stabilization funding was riding its way for months on the Capitol Hill roller coaster, states and localities stepped forward with their own innovations to contain the spreading blight of foreclosures. In July, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced a $20 million Neighborhood Stabilization Loan Fund to acquire foreclosed properties and renovate them as affordable homes in 7 of the state's hardest hit communities. In what may be a first in the nation, this fund combines money from quasi-public agencies, banks and $3 million from private foundations to write down the interest costs.

Fairfax County, Virginia committed more than $10 million in tax revenue to aid acquisition of as many as 200 foreclosed houses. The DC suburb is funding a mix of outright purchase, aid to buyers through government-backed, low-interest loans, and other financial assistance mainly for first time homebuyers earning up to 80% of median income (roughly $75,000).

These and similar efforts cropping up around the country represent a significant addition to the already active foreclosure prevention efforts that have been underway for some time.

It has been encouraging to see communities and major private funders not wait for Washington to act. As thoughtful and well targeted as local stabilization efforts may be, however, the sheer avalanche of foreclosures is likely to bury these efforts if not combined with Federal resources that flow quickly and easily soon to where they are needed. Congress placed swift deadlines – 60 days for creation of a formula, and 30 days after that to get funds distributed – but communities need to be ready to put these funds immediately to work.

David Abromowitz is a director and partner with Goulston & Storrs, a law firm known nationally for its Housing & Economic Development Group, which works on all aspects of the acquisition, financing and development of residential real estate and affordable housing.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Spotlight" on NHC and the Center for Housing Policy


Visit the list of links below to read recent articles featuring the National Housing Conference and the Center for Housing Policy.

January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008

January 2009

"Coalition Seeks Protection for Renters in Foreclosed Properties"
Mutlifamily Executive Magazine (1/30)
Quoted: Sharon Price, NHC director of policy

Developer Sees Appeal of Mass Transit
St. Petersburg Times (FL) (1/23)
Featured: “A Heavy Load: The Combined Housing and Transportation Burdens of Working Families,” a study conducted by NHC’s research affiliate the Center for Housing Policy

IRS Agents Soften Heart for Delinquent Taxpayers
Associated Press (1/6)
Quoted: Sharon Price, NHC director of policy

Back to top

December 2008

The Great Persuader
American Prospect (12/18)
Quoted: Conrad Egan, president and CEO of NHC

Donovan Enlisted by Obama
CityFeet.com (12/17)
Featured: The NYHC and NHC 35th Annual Awards Luncheon

HUD Choice to be Part of Cornerstone to Fix Crisis
USA Today (12/15)
Quoted: Conrad Egan, NHC president and CEO

“Eyeing State/Federal Aid for MF”
National Mortgage News (12/15)
Quoted: Conrad Egan, NHC president and CEO

“Advocates Ponder Affordable Housing Under Obama”
GlobeSt.com (12/15)
Quoted: Conrad Egan, NHC president and CEO, and Sharon Price, NHC director of policy

Obama's HUD Pick to Help With Crisis
Associated Press (12/13)
Quoted: Conrad Egan, NHC president and CEO

Bloomberg: Housing Program Must Get Done
GlobeSt.com (12/12)
Featured: The NYHC and NHC 35th Annual Awards Luncheon

NHC Holds Annual New York City Awards Luncheon
Multi-Housing News (12/11)
Featured: The NYHC and NHC 35th Annual Awards Luncheon

"High Inventory Killing Home Builders; Industry Asks For Help"
MarketWatch (12/5)
Quoted: Sharon Price, NHC director of policy

“Help for Homeowners”

Lou Dobbs Tonight - CNN (12/4)
Featured: On-camera interview with Sharon Price, NHC director of policy

Back to top

November 2008

Home is Where the Savings Are
San Jose Mercury News (CA) (11/28)
Featured: Center for Housing Policy's Stretched Thin study

"FHA Relaxes Program Rules for Homeowners"
Washington Post (11/20)
Quoted: Sharon Price, NHC director of policy

"Paulson Shift Pressures Home Lenders, Investors"
Boston Globe (11/13)
Quoted: Sharon Price, NHC director of policy

Wrangling Over Foreclosures
Boston Globe (11/12)
Quoted: Sharon Price, NHC director of policy

“Rell Calls for Foreclosure Moratorium; Plan Includes Mediation and Tenant Notification"

The Day (CT) (11/21)
Featured: HousingPolicy.org, the Center for Housing Policy’s online guide to state and local housing policy solutions

Paulson Shift Pressures Home Lenders, Investors

Boston Globe (11/13)
Quoted: Sharon Price, NHC director of policy

Back to top

October 2008

Countdown to the Vote: Housing

SmartMoney.com (10/31)
Quoted: Sharon Price, NHC director of policy

Mortgages Not The Only Problem
Chattanooga Times Free Press
(10/27)
Featured: Center for Housing Policy's Stretched Thin study

Market Pulse
Hartfotd Courant
(CT) (10/19)
Featured: Center for Housing Policy's Stretched Thin study

Study Finds Rising Operating Expenses Lead to Rent Increases, Housing Costs Outpace Income Growth
Multi-Housing News Online
(10/14)
Quoted: Barbara Lipman, research director for the Center for Housing Policy

Salaries Lag Behind Living Costs
El Paso Times
(10/12)
Quoted: Maya Brennan, research associate for the Center for Housing Policy

Housing Costs Outpace Income Increases
The Citizens' Voice (10/11)
Featured: Center for Housing Policy's Stretched Thin study

Stretched Too Thin? You’ve Got Company: Part II
“L.A. Land” – Los Angeles Times Blog (10/10)
Featured: Center for Housing Policy's Stretched Thin study

Housing Costs Not Just About Mortgages
“Seattle Real Estate News” – Seattle Post-Intelligencer Blog (10/9)
Featured: Center for Housing Policy's Stretched Thin study

Stretched Too Thin? You’ve Got Company

“L.A. Land” – Los Angeles Times Blog (10/8)
Featured: Center for Housing Policy's Stretched Thin study

Report: Housing Expenses Grow At Faster Pace Than Income
Las Vegas Review-Journal (10/8)
Quoted: Maya Brennan, research associate for the Center for Housing Policy

Mortgage Payments Aren’t the Only Housing Costs Crimping Budgets
MarketWatch (10/8)
Quoted: Maya Brennan, research associate for the Center for Housing Policy
**This article also appeared in Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, NASDAQ Online, and Boston Herald Online

Study: US Housing Costs Soared as Incomes Lagged
Associated Press
(10/8)
Quoted: Maya Brennan, research associate for the Center for Housing Policy
**This article also appeared in newspapers such as Washington Post, Tampa Tribune, Arizona Republic, Austin-American Statesman, Seattle Times, Columbus Dispatch, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Houston Chronicle, and Newsday

‘Stretched Thin’ Study Examines Full Spectrum of Housing Costs
“The Hill Blog” – Congress Blog (10/8)
Featured: Center for Housing Policy's Stretched Thin study

FHA Will Take on Subprime Loans Shunned by Lenders
Bloomberg (10/6)
Quoted: Sharon Price, director of policy for the National Housing Conference

Federal Bailout Lacks Control of Home Loans to Aid Owners
Boston Globe (10/5)
Quoted: Sharon Price, director of policy for the National Housing Conference

Industry Leaders Speak Out on Candidates, Election
Affordable Housing Finance (10/2008)
Quoted: NHC President and CEO Conrad Egan

Back to top

September 2008

Financial Bailout to Include Help for Homeowners
Newsday (9/23)
Quoted: Sharon Price, director of policy for the National Housing Conference

Open House [Blog] Opened
San Diego Union-Tribune (9/21)
Quoted: Michele Anapol, director of communications for NHC and the Center

[Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac] Social Mission in Doubt
Wall Street Journal (9/10)
Quoted: NHC President and CEO Conrad Egan

Caution on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Washington Post (9/4)
Featured: Letter-to-the-Editor by NHC President and CEO Conrad Egan

High Gas Prices and New Regional Transit Agency Prompt Hopes for Better Rail Service
Bradenton Herald (9/3)
Referenced: The Center for Housing Policy’s study “A Heavy Load: The Combined Housing and Transportation Burdens of Working Families”

“Out of Balance”
Affordable Housing Finance (9/2008)
Quoted: Jeffrey Lubell, executive director of the Center for Housing Policy

Back to top

Friday, August 8, 2008

Foreclosure Prevention and Neighborhood Stabilization

Visit the list of links below to access information about foreclosure prevention efforts and neighborhood stabilization initiatives. For more information on the Foreclosure Taskforce, please contact NHC Policy Associate Clare Duncan.

Weekly Policy Updates
Follow this link to receive additional news, events, and resources related to Foreclosure Prevention and Neighborhood Stabilization Initiatives. This section is updated weekly.

Resources
National Foreclosure Prevention and Neighborhood Stabilization Task Force Sign-On Letters, Press Statements, and Presentations

NSP Resources from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

NSP Summaries
PLEASE NOTE: You can update the two shared documents above with additional information as it relates to your city, state or county.


Other Resources from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Other Legislation

Organizations and Coalitions

Enterprise Community Partners Resources

National Community Stabilization Trust Resources

NCB Capital Impact Resources

Land Bank Resources

Additional Resources