OC City May Snatch Up Foreclosed Properties

Huntington Beach is one of a few cities that is weighing the option to purchase its own foreclosed properties, and eventually making them affordable housing.
December 18, 2008, 8am PST | Judy Chang
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"'From what I've heard I think it's a positive thing if we can get a house back in circulation,' said Huntington Beach Mayor Keith Bohr. 'They're just there vacant open to vandalism and not maintained. That's not good for anybody.'

Some local real-estate experts think the program is worth considering. However, they question the execution of such a program, wondering whether taxpayers would truly benefit in the long run.

'I think it's a great idea,' said Dennis C. Smith, mortgage broker and co-owner of Stratis Financial in Huntington Beach. 'My concern is they're putting people into homes that can afford to buy them '

He suggested city officials follow Habitat for Humanity's model.

'They get low interest rate loans, the families have to spend so many hours working on the homes (or) if there's some way the city can extract some pound of flesh back to the community,' Smith said.

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Published on Monday, December 15, 2008 in Orange County Register
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