National Housing Conference offers guidelines to dispose of government-owned real estate

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NHC, foreclosure task force sign on to recommendations for jettisoning residential property inventory

WASHINGTON, DC – September 16, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The National Foreclosure Prevention and Neighborhood Stabilization Task Force has released a seven-point response to a request for information from the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development on how to dispose of the inventory of more than 92,000 homes the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now own in the wake of the darkest days of the foreclosure crisis. The sign-on letter outlines seven principles designed to help ensure that as taxpayer-backed lenders determine the best course to reduce their real estate owned (REO) inventory, policies that promote stable neighborhoods and a strong housing finance system are implemented.

National Housing Conference Vice President for Policy and Advocacy Ethan Handelman, the author of the sign-on letter, is clear that the letter serves not just as a strategy for reducing the existing REO inventory but also as a roadmap to guide policy as additional foreclosures hit the market.

“We are still in the midst of a foreclosure crisis,” Handelman wrote. “More distressed homes are headed to the market, as the average serious delinquency rate is [at] a historically high level only slightly down from the peak.”

The sign-on letter recommends that REO disposition should complement Neighborhood Stabilization Program strategies, implemented as local initiatives in high-foreclosure communities to mitigate impacts on neighborhoods and families and reduce blight. Among other proposals, the letter also advocates for better regulation of those buying REO properties and managing the REO properties as rentals, better opportunities for creating long-term affordability and green renovation in the acquisition process, and better access to high-quality properties for nonprofits to improve asset management outcomes.

Interested parties can read the sign-on letter here and the National Foreclosure Prevention and Neighborhood Stabilization Task Force is accepting new signatories. The deadline to respond to the request for information from FHFA and HUD is September 15.

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For more than 75 years, the nonprofit National Housing Conference (NHC) has been the United Voice for Housing. A membership drawn from every industry segment forms the foundation for NHC’s broad, nonpartisan advocacy for national policies and legislation that promote suitable housing in a safe, decent environment.

NHC's research affiliate, the Center for Housing Policy, specializes in developing solutions through research. In partnership with NHC and its members, the Center works to broaden understanding of the nation’s housing challenges and to examine the impact of policies and programs developed to address these needs.

Contact:

National Housing Conference
1801 K Street, N.W., Suite M-100
Washington, DC 20006-1301

Phone: 202/466-2121
Fax: 202/466-2122

Media contact:
Laura Woods
Phone: (202) 466-2121 x240

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