FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Media Contact: Molly Moses
Fifth Round of Hardest Hit Funds Allows OHFA to Continue the Fight Against Foreclosure and Blight
COLUMBUS – The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) today announced the recipients of additional funding under the Neighborhood Initiative Program (NIP), a program designed to help prevent foreclosures and stabilize local property values through the demolition and greening of vacant and blighted homes across the state. Sixteen newly established and nineteen previously participating land banks were awarded a portion of $54.2 million in funding available through the fifth round of the Hardest Hit Fund Program. In total, $238 million has been allocated to this program.
The 16 counties receiving new awards in funding through NIP are:
The 19 counties receiving an increase in funding through NIP are:
"Studies indicate having a blighted and vacant structure within 500 feet of an owner-occupied residence negatively effects property values; thus increasing the risk of foreclosure," commented Doug Garver, OHFA's Executive Director. "As our land bank partners continue to eliminate these properties in neighborhoods, communities are experiencing the direct positive impact as a whole by providing safe spaces for children to play, community gardens and re-development."
As with previous rounds, the maximum amount of assistance per property is $25,000, with an estimated average amount of assistance of $14,000. Nearly 4,000 blighted structures have already been removed under this program.
OHFA is partnering with thirty-seven land banks across the state to focus blight elimination efforts in target areas where the demolition and greening of vacant homes will assist in preventing a further reduction in property values and the foreclosure of neighboring, occupied residential homes. Awardees are responsible for all aspects of the property acquisition and removal as well as plans for greening and ongoing maintenance of the property.
In late September, OHFA began taking applications from homeowners who have struggled to keep up with their mortgage payments due to unemployment. $25 million has been allocated to assist homeowners with bringing and keeping their mortgages current. For more information or to apply visit Savethedream.ohio.gov.
With the conclusion of the Fifth Round of Funding, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has now allocated a total of $762.3 million in Hardest Hit Funds to OHFA to administer the state's foreclosure prevention programs.
For specific details of how HHF funds have been utilized in Ohio, please refer to http://treasury.gov/hhf.
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About the Ohio Housing Finance Agency
OHFA is a self-supporting quasi-public agency governed by an 11 member board. The Agency uses federal and state resources to provide housing opportunities for families and individuals through programs designed to develop, preserve and sustain affordable housing throughout the state of Ohio. OHFA is also the administrator of the state's foreclosure prevention program, Save the Dream Ohio.