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Foreclosure Crisis Could Get Better With Federal Stimuls Funds
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A state-led consortium of public and private housing groups has come together to apply for $45 million in federal stimulus funds.They're hoping to buy as many as 450 foreclosed homes, and revitalize areas affected by the foreclosure crisis.

The consortium is headed by the State department of Economic and Community Development, and includes three state-wide non-profit Housing groups. It also includes the four cities hardest hit by foreclosures -- Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and Stamford.

Patricia Spring is the coordinator for Connecticut Housing Coalition, which helped bring the consortium together.

"In order to really do a good job in addressing the need around foreclosure, it really takes a collaboration of both the municipalities, those that invest, those that actually on the ground, doing the rehabilitation, and training of families, and re-selling those proprieties, or turning them into rental units."

If awarded, the bulk of the funds would go toward the purchase and rehabilitation of foreclosed properties. The rest would be used for low-interest loans, mortgage counseling, and other assistance programs.

Spring says foreclosed homes are detrimental to a community -- surrounding home values go down, break-ins and vandalism occur more often, and there's a general decline in investment.

"There are a great number of speculators who are out in the field who are looking to purchase those properties and set them aside, and do very little with them. Certainly our particular concern is in our lower income communities where we really can't continue to have boarded up and underutilized properties."

Spring says the application is among 450 nation-wide currently under review by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Results should be announced by the Fall.