Magazine article Partners in Community and Economic Development

Georgia: New Life for Foreclosed Properties

Magazine article Partners in Community and Economic Development

Georgia: New Life for Foreclosed Properties

Article excerpt

Rehabilitation of foreclosed or abandoned property by local governments, nonprofits or housing providers is an important step on the road to neighborhood recovery in areas hard-hit by foreclosure. Financial institutions play a significant role in this process, and a new organization, the National Community Stabilization Trust, is designed to smooth the way.

Working directly with financial institutions

Collaborations among nonprofits, financial institutions and civic-minded volunteers can help bring neighborhoods back to life. The Initiative for Affordable Housing is a private nonprofit agency in Atlanta, Georgia, founded in 1990 by two churches with long histories of social involvement in the local community. Executive Director Lisa Wise is partnering with the Chase/Washington Mutual/EMC Real Estate Owned Gifting and Discounted Sales Program to refurbish three properties in an area of DeKalb County heavily affected by foreclosures.

A group of volunteers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta rehabbed one of the properties, and volunteers from JP Morgan Chase, Emory University and Agnes Scott College are completing work on the remaining two.

"The total rehab cost for the three properties isn't expected to exceed $15,000," says Beverly Dabney, first vice president and senior community affairs relationship manager of Washington Mutual (WaMu)/JP Morgan Chase.

Like similar programs at other financial institutions, the Chase/WaMu/EMC program works with nonprofits and government entities to donate or sell real estate owned (REO) properties to help areas with high foreclosure rates.

The National Community Stabilization Trust eases the way

The National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST) is a collaboration of five leading community development organizations--Enterprise Community Partners, Housing Partnership Network, Local Initiatives Support Cooperation, NeighborWorks America, National Council of La Raza and the National Urban League. …

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