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Maryland County Provides Funding for Foreclosure Prevention, Rehabilitation

Montgomery County, Maryland and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development announced last week that they will provide up to $450,000 to three non-profit organizations to support foreclosure prevention counseling. The organizations receiving the extra backing are the ""Housing Initiative Partnership"":http://www.hiphomes.org (HIP), ""HomeFree USA"":http://www.homefreeusa.org, and the ""Latino Economic Development Corporation"":http://www.ledcdc.org (LEDC).
In addition, the county’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs will provide a loan of $2 million to ""AHC Inc."":http://www.ahcinc.org, an Arlington, Virginia-based private, not-for-profit developer of affordable housing throughout the mid-Atlantic region. The loan will be used by the company to acquire, renovate, and re-sell foreclosed homes in the Germantown area (zip code 20874).
County Executive Isiah Leggett, who made the announcement of Montgomery's foreclosure aid initiative, said, ""Foreclosures in the county are a big concern for me, and we are working to address the problem on multiple fronts. Counseling for homeowners to try and avoid foreclosures is extremely important, as is helping organizations such as AHC purchase foreclosed properties so neighborhoods remain stable.""
Since 2007, Montgomery County has seen more than 9,000 properties enter the foreclosure process. Twelve hundred have been taken over by lending institutions. Foreclosure ""hot spots"" include Germantown, Gaithersburg, Wheaton, Aspen Hill, and Glenmont.
Currently, ""HIP"":http://www.hiphomes.org is operating out of an office in Montgomery's Upcounty Regional Center. ""HomeFree USA"":http://www.homefreeusa.org has an office provided with support from the city of Gaithersburg. Counselors for the ""Latino Economic Development Corporation"":http://www.ledcdc.org work in Wheaton. The additional funding will increase the total number of foreclosure counselors to eight, up from the four that are currently available.
The homes acquired by ""AHC"":http://www.ahcinc.org under the program will be lender-owned, two- or three-bedroom town homes and single-family homes in need of renovation that are ""good candidates for resale."" The renovations will include energy efficiency and weatherization improvements. AHC estimates that approximately 18 homes can be acquired, renovated, and resold as affordable dwellings in a two-year period. The $2 million loan will come from the Montgomery County’s Housing Initiative Fund.
During the past 32 years, AHC has participated in the creation or preservation of more than 5,000 units of affordable and mixed-use housing in the Washington metropolitan area, including the development and/or financing of more than 1,000 affordable single-family residences.
Walter D. Webdale, AHC CEO, said, ""AHC has been creating affordable homeownership opportunities for over three decades. We are delighted to partner with the [Maryland] Department of Housing and Community Affairs on this initiative which will preserve and strengthen communities by converting foreclosed assets to affordable homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income households in Montgomery County.""

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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