Policy at the local, state and national levels can have a dramatic impact on a community's ability to persevere and survive the foreclosure crisis. There are four areas in which nonprofits and other stakeholders can work to improve these policies.
Advocacy: One important role that community development organizations must play is that of advocates for the needs of their communities. Through advocacy, organizations work with policymakers to ensure that new laws, regulations, and programs will be effective at the community level. Organizations must also lobby for the necessary resources to carry out these programs.
Local Initiatives: At the local level, policy is used directly to effect stabilization and revitalization. Local policies take state enabling legislation and create programs tailored to community-specific challenges. Examples include creating efficient, cost-effective strategies to deal with homes that become vacant or abandoned, or are in the process of foreclosure such as nuisance property ordinances.
State Initiatives: Policies at the state level enable localities to create certain types of legislation that result in stable communities. Examples include establishing mechanisms to ensure that local governments have the authority they need to penalize, prosecute, and take possession of vacant and foreclosed properties.States also support localities by providing funding for community development initiatives. Many national programs are administered at the state level.
National Initiatives: Policies at the national level enable states and sometimes localities to create the laws and regulations needed to stabilize and revitalize communities. Some national policies also make resources available to support these efforts. Examples include NSP and renter protection legislation.