To alleviate issues of foreclosure in one of the hardest hit areas, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn launched two initiatives. One effort will connect homeowners to resources to keep them in their homes, and another will help revitalize areas affected by foreclosed and vacant properties.[IMAGE]
The ""Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network"":http://keepyourhomeillinois.org/ (IFPN) was established to connect struggling homeowners with guidance and information.
""Helping families stay in their homes is essential in keeping our communities strong and our economic recovery moving forward,"" said Quinn. ""The Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network will connect families with resources they need to keep their homes, and get back on their feet.""
By providing access to counseling services, legal advice, mortgage payment assistance programs, foreclosure prevention events, and tips on avoiding fraud, the IFPN creates a one-stop information center where homeowners can receive assistance.[COLUMN_BREAK]
""A national report recently found foreclosure counseling nearly doubles the chances of mortgage modification and reduces likelihood of re-default by at least 67 percent,"" said Mary Kenney, executive director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
Working in conjunction with the IFPN is a program to bring foreclosed and abandoned properties back to life.
The effort will focus on homes in six of the hardest hit communities. The program, which is called Building Blocks Pilot Program, is an initiative between the Quinn, the Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and six Cook county mayors.
A $55 million join commitment will be made between Illinois and Cook county. The funds will be used to help six communities stabilize their neighborhoods, protect property values, preserve the local tax based, and increase affordable housing stock.
On average, foreclosed properties on the same block can drop a home's value by $8,000 to $10,000, according to release from the office of Governor Quinn.
The program has three components: financing to rehabilitate vacant properties, assistance to homeowners to purchase homes in the pilot communities, and support for homeowners in the areas to keep them from going into foreclosure.
Illinois is consistently ranked among the top 10 states with the highest number of foreclosures, and Chicago ranks second in the nation for the highest number of foreclosures. The Chicago area also has the largest inventory of foreclosed homes. As of December 2011, 96,996 properties are said to be bank-owned or in the foreclosure stages, according to RealtyTrac's records.