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In The News

SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

Loan Scammers Continue to Disrupt Housing Recovery

Loan modification scams continue to plague our country and scammers are still using malicious tactics to take advantage of unknowing borrowers.  Homeowners in trouble are typically desperate and scammers know it; they go straight after these borrowers in need, using program and service titles that sound legitimate such as "loan modification consultant."  Scammers know how to counsel emotionally distraught callers and say all the right things.  They are positive and convincing, and make promises to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, which is what homeowners want to hear.



SEPTEMBER 13, 2012

Can the Middle Class Thrive Without Home Ownership?

CNN Money explores this question and whether or not middle-income families can still build assets through home ownership. As ownership rates continue to decline, politicians must decide whether home ownership is still key to building the middle class, and thus important to fund. This article considers different perspectives on the importance of home ownership, and the trends that affect different types of households. Federal subsidies and political perspectives play a part in the debate, accentuating the need for smart policies that truly strengthen individual families and local economies.




Create a Community Garden!

Community gardens beautify our neighborhoods and help residents build skills, relationships and local resources.  This article covers the important factors in forming a community garden such as motivating volunteers, creating commitment, obtaining space, forming partnerships, finding funds and obtaining the knowledge to plan and care for a garden.  Garden sites may be publicly or privately owned and potential partners include schools, churches, municipalities, community groups, lenders and others.  Funding sources may include city and/or state funds, community foundations, lo

SOURCE: NeighborWorks America


AUGUST 29, 2012

Young Americans Choose Renting Over Home Ownership

Because of the difficult economy, more young Americans are choosing to rent apartments in larger cities than to buy homes in the suburbs, resulting in growth of larger cities.  Many who are struggling with college debt and lack of decent-wage jobs are putting off marriage, children and home ownership and moving to urban areas where they can live in apartments that don't require a long-term commitment, plus have proximity to better jobs and public transportation.

SOURCE: The Huffington Post


AUGUST 17, 2012

Bank of America Announces More Than $22 Million in Grants to Housing Nonprofits

$22 million from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will be awarded to over 650 nonprofits in 34 states that are focused on building and rehabbing affordable housing, providing foreclosure prevention assistance and homeowner counseling as well as other neighborhood revitalization services.

SOURCE: Bank of America Newsroom


AUGUST 9, 2012

Can Urban Farming Reduce Violence in Cities?

The benefits of urban farming are examined in this article, which explores how urban farming programs are helping families financially, physically and spiritually. Some of the benefits may surprise you: while urban farming primarily focuses on creating healthy food options for needy families, it also helps families and individuals take ownership in their communities and take control of their physical well-being.  Furthermore, garden workers are finding solace in tending the earth and producing good food, plus are creating lasting bonds with other members of the community.

SOURCE: Mother Jones


JULY 31, 2012

Mayor Prefers Preservation Over Demolition

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory told the plenary panel at a recent Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference in New Orleans that tearing down is not always the best option for our nation's "shrinking cities."  Mallory says that clearing the land, although affordable, can make it hard to create new investment in the neighborhood and can "kill the chance to repopulate."  For sure, renovation takes more time and resources, but the value added is clear in places that focus on preservation over demolition: renewed population growth.



JULY 25, 2012

California County Weighs Drastic Plan to Aid Homeowners

San Bernardino County is looking into a plan involving the use of eminent domain to purchase underwater homes. This would allow the county to decrease mortgage amounts to the current value of the home and resell the mortgages to an investment firm, which would help homeowners obtain an affordable payment and stay in their homes. It would take time to get that policy in place, but already the idea is worrying banking leaders who say that allowing a government entity to serve as a lender would set a bad precedent and discourage banks from making loans in that area.

SOURCE: New York Times


JULY 20, 2012

Does an Increase in Calls to HOPE Hotline Signal a New Wave of Foreclosures?

The HOPE Hotline is experiencing a substantial increase in calls which could mean a new wave of foreclosures is about to hit, says a new report by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation.



JULY 20, 2012

Are Rentals the New American Dream?

Over the past few years, the face of typical American tenants has changed because of the housing market crash and impacts of foreclosure. Many tenants are older and have children and are looking for single-family units to rent instead of apartments. Investors who are aware of this shift are buying up homes in order to rent them to families who want to move into single-family homes but are not eligible to buy on their own.



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