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NR 2009-147
Contact: Dean DeBuck
(202) 874-5770

OCC Community Developments Newsletter Focuses on Bank Stabilization Activities

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today released the fall 2009 edition of Community Developments focusing on bank strategies to mitigate the impacts of foreclosed properties on communities across the country.

"Thanks in large part to new community partnerships, neighborhoods hard hit by foreclosures are being rebuilt and renewed," said Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan. "These initiatives provide the critical leadership, creativity and financing needed to help revitalize neighborhoods across the nation. Their efforts come at a critical time for financial institutions and the communities they serve."

This issue of Community Developments highlights the emerging work of innovative community partnerships and the tools and resources available to help them return foreclosed properties to the productive housing stock. It describes multiple strategies for managing and renewing real estate owned properties held by national banks and other lenders, including donations, discounted sales, and property rehabilitation. It also describes how federal funds are being used to stabilize neighborhoods nationwide. In some cases, the community stabilization efforts of national banks can also receive positive CRA consideration.

  • In the Minnesota’s twin cities, nonprofit housing organizations are enabling low-and moderate-income households to buy foreclosed homes with support from national foundations and the recently created National Community Stabilization Trust.
  • In Essex County, New Jersey, neighborhoods are being helped by a community development corporation using the bulk purchase of defaulted mortgage notes from a bank to speed the transfer of vacant properties.
  • In Charlotte, North Carolina, homebuyers have a chance to rent a home until they can qualify to buy it through a lease-purchase program. A nonprofit will manage these properties until they are resold.
  • In Maricopa County, Arizona, a nonprofit is providing first-time home buyers with prepurchase education and counseling. The nonprofit organization repairs foreclosed properties for resale to these buyers when they complete their training and qualify for affordable financing.

"The goal of all of these programs is to ensure that neighborhoods affected by foreclosures continue to be desirable and sustainable places to live. We hope that these examples and the other successes described in this newsletter will inspire the launch of new stabilization partnerships to serve other neighborhoods in need across the country," stated Comptroller Dugan.

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