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Foreclosure program to assist first-time buyers making its way to South Florida

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It’s no secret that South Florida lacks affordable housing for both renters and first-time home buyers. As such, it comes as a breath of fresh air to learn that low-income housing organizations will soon receive first dibs on bank-owned foreclosed properties that meet specific criteria.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency originally tested its Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative in the Detroit and Chicago areas with foreclosed homes that belonged to mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. After experiencing success, the FHFA is expanding the program to Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, officially beginning Dec. 1.

It’s difficult for non-profit institutions to compete against investors looking for high profit margins when buying foreclosures, consequently, this program provides access to properties valued at $175,000 or less to organizations that have the community’s interest at heart. These organizations then renovates and rents or resells the properties to first-time homebuyers and residents that meet financial qualifications.

“Our goal is to take what we learned in Detroit and Chicago and apply it to these additional communities as quickly and efficiently as possible,” FHFA Director Melvin L. Watt said in a statement. “Giving local community buyers an exclusive opportunity to purchase these properties at a discount …is an effective way to give control back to local communities and residents who have a vested interest in stabilizing their neighborhoods.”

A couple of the housing groups that will have first access to purchasing foreclosed properties through this initiative include: Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida (a Fort Lauderdale based non-profit that has worked to revitalize and strengthen communities in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties), and Neighborhood Renaissance, based in West Palm Beach.

The Graham Legal team is dedicated to assisting the local community through difficult times and is supportive of all community improvement efforts. Be sure to visit our blog frequently for updates on the community and foreclosure law in Miami.

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