The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced Tuesday  that it will expand the Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative  (NSI) to 18 more metro areas across the country to provide REO relief to communities.
The FHFA said that beginning December 1, 2015, local community organizations will be able to review and purchase foreclosed properties owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the newly added 18 metro areas before they hit the public market.
The markets listed are metros in which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each had at least 100 REO properties valued at less than $75,000, the FHFA says.
“The number of REO properties that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac hold continues to decline nationwide, but there are still some communities in which the number of REO properties remains elevated,” said Melvin L. Watt, FHFA director.
“Our goal is to take what we learned in Detroit and Chicago and apply it to these additional communities as quickly and efficiently as possible. Giving local community buyers an exclusive opportunity to purchase these properties at a discount, taking into account expenses saved through a quicker sale, is an effective way to give control back to local communities and residents who have a vested interest in stabilizing their neighborhoods,” Watt said.
FHFA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac jointly developed NSI and it involves a partnership with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST), the release stated.
The pilot, launched initially in Detroit, Michigan in May 2014, was extended earlier this year to Cook County, Illinois. Based on the lessons learned from the pilot, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue their work with NCST to focus on disposition of REO properties in ways that place a priority on stabilizing neighborhoods.
The 18 metropolitan areas designated by the FHFA for NSI expansion include:
- Akron, Ohio
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia
- Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Maryland
- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois
- Cincinnati, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana
- Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio
- Columbus, Ohio
- Dayton, Ohio
- Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida
- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- St. Louis, Missouri
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida
- Toledo, Ohio