Cohen Announces More Than $5 Million to Combat Foreclosures, Rehabilitate Housing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 8, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-9) today announced the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded Memphis $5,195,847 under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) to address the effects of abandoned and foreclosed housing. 

“Memphis is still suffering from a foreclosure crisis,” said Congressman Cohen.  “These new federal funds will be put to good use by helping families across our city keep their homes and preserve middle class wealth.”

The new federal funds were made available through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which Congressman Cohen supported.  Memphis can use the funds to establish funding mechanisms, acquire and rehabilitate housing, operate landbanks, demolish blighted property and redevelop property for housing purposes.  For more information on NSP, which was established under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, please click here.

In July Congressman Cohen chaired a hearing at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law on the Wells Fargo fair housing lawsuit filed by the City of Memphis and Shelby County, bankruptcy issues as they relate to home foreclosures, and the overall foreclosure problem in Memphis.  Memphis Mayor AC Wharton and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee participated in the hearing.

The Associated Press reported earlier this year that more than 1 million American households are likely to lose their homes to foreclosure in 2010.  To combat this crisis, Congressman Cohen authored legislation — the Preventing Homeowners from Foreclosure Act of 2010 — to establish a grant program for state and local governments to help provide mediation between homeowners and lenders in an effort to help prevent foreclosures.  Foreclosure mediation would postpone Sheriff sales of all owner-occupied residences until the homeowner has had an opportunity to meet with a housing counselor to explore viable alternatives to foreclosure.

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