Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ohio awarded additional $148M in Hardest-Hit foreclosure funding

On Wednesday, the Obama Administration announced that Ohio will receive an additional $148 million through the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Housing Finance Agency Innovation Fund for the Hardest-Hit Housing Markets to help stem the tide of foreclosures.

Combined with funding awarded on March 29, the --> --> --> (OHFA) now has $320 million to administer through the Ohio Hardest-Hit Fund (OHHF), which will be used to help pay the mortgages of unemployed and underemployed homeowners seeking reemployment or enrolled in job training.

Developed by the OHFA, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, the Ohio Department of Commerce, and the Save the Dream Ohio partnership, the statewide OHFF works with 37 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-certified housing counseling agencies, legal aid societies, and pro-bono associations to assist 18,500 unemployed and underemployed homeowners who are experiencing financial hardship and are at risk of mortgage loan default or foreclosure.

The program is set to launch on September 27. To be eligible for the OHHF, homeowners must have been unable to qualify for existing loan modification and foreclosure prevention programs.

And although the most recent allocation must be used for partial mortgage payment assistance, the remainder of the funding can be used for rescue payment assistance, modification assistance with principal reduction, and transitional assistance.

"Through OHFA's partial mortgage loan payment program, this funding will provide stability to struggling borrowers and to Ohio's housing market," OHFA Executive Director Doug Garver said in a media release. "Having additional resources will provide even more options for families facing the devastation of foreclosure."

The funds are being allocated to states that have experienced sustained unemployment rates at or above the national average over the past year.

Ohio, which received the fourth largest allocation, is one of 17 states and the District of Columbia to share in the $2 billion of additional funding. Other recipients include previous awardees California, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina; and new recipients Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia.

According to online foreclosure clearinghouse RealtyTrac, 90,290 Ohio homes – or one in 376 households – are currently in some stage of foreclosure, with the highest concentrations in Erie, Muskingum, and Marion counties.

"This additional federal funding from the Obama Administration will be a huge help to Ohio families and children in need," Strickland said. "The Ohio Hardest-Hit Fund plan is dedicated to keeping thousands of Ohioans in their homes and we will be able to assist far more people with the increase in funding."

Previous "foreclosure" stories on BC:
Ohio one of five states to receive federal foreclosure funds (8/5/10)
Kearney bill could generate funding for foreclosure prevention (8/2/10)
Cole foreclosure proposal deemed a duplication of services (6/15/10)
Cincinnati accepts $8.1M for foreclosure remediation (5/4/10)
Ohio land bank bill now law (4/8/10)



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