No closing time for foreclosure epidemic
The Chicago Tribune’s Tim Jones reports on shortcomings in Housing and Urban Development’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program, a crucial component part of Washington’s push back against home foreclosures.
Chicago received $155 million from the $6 billion federal program, and proceeded to direct that money to neighborhoods most impacted by foreclosures in 2006 and 2007. Foreclosures have since spread throughout the city and relatively prosperous neighborhoods like Rogers Park now bear witness to hundreds of suddenly abandoned properties. The HUD money, though, has already been allocated to neighborhoods like Austin and West Englewood that were hit by the subprime loan stage of the national foreclosure wave.
The Trib’s otherwise thoroughly reported article overly emphasizes this one HUD program — after all TARP set aside $75 billion nationally for the Making Homes Affordable foreclosure prevention plan. However, MHA has helped thousands fewer homeowners than it was expected to and has been ripped by the special Inspector General for TARP.
Regardless of the specific program, Congress and the Obama administration have not responded to the agonizing endurance of the foreclosure epidemic. The Trib reports that in the first six months of 2010 foreclosure filings were up 37 percent from last year in the Chicago metropolitan area. Yet the federal government has not unveiled any significant new homeowner assistance since President Obama outlined Making Homes Affordable in March 2009.