Foreclosed Properties Eyed As Affordable Housing Stock

<p>In a move to combat the growing numbers of foreclosed homes and provide affordable housing, Fairfax County, Virginia, has announced plans to buy up foreclosed properties to augment the county's supply of affordable homes.</p>
July 5, 2008, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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"County leaders said the program, through which Fairfax will purchase some properties outright and help families buy others through subsidized loans, takes advantage of a unique moment when thousands of homes are entering foreclosure and available for purchase at below-market prices. The program will expand the county's stock of affordable housing and help stabilize areas where clusters of abandoned, unkempt properties in foreclosure threaten the value and vitality of surrounding neighborhoods, county officials said."

"Although other communities are addressing the housing crisis primarily through counseling and such financial help as utility payment assistance, Fairfax is plunging deeper into the issue by agreeing to spend more than $10 million in tax revenue toward the purchase of as many as 200 foreclosed houses. The county will purchase 10 houses outright; the rest will be purchased by qualifying buyers with the help of government-backed, low-interest loans. Buyers will be eligible for subsidized mortgages as well as low-interest second trusts up to $70,000. Most of the assistance will be directed to first-time buyers earning as much as $75,600, or 80 percent of the area's median income. Most purchases will be limited to $385,000 and exclude condominiums. All of the money in the first year would come from existing housing programs."

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Published on Tuesday, July 1, 2008 in The Washington Post
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