Blight Fighters Gathered at 2016 Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference in Baltimore

Over 1,000 people gathered in Baltimore to learn strategies from each other to combat the blight of vacant, abandoned properties and revitalize their neighborhoods. The Center for Community Progress (CCP) has sponsored this event for many years. Staff from land banks, nonprofit housing developers, municipal and state agencies, financial institutions, and other experts cametogether to hear about and learn from local efforts to restore communities hard hit by real estate abandonment. NCST assisted CCP at this year's conference by developing workshops on national, state and local policy as it affects vacant properties and revitalization efforts.


Your Input Wanted: DASP and the Alternative Bidding Program for Non-Profit Buyers

As many of you may know, the Department of Housing and Urban Development conducts bulk auctions of delinquent mortgages through a program called Distressed Asset Stabilization Program (DASP). Some DASP sales are large, national auctions, generally dominated by large, private bidders, and some are smaller pools, either pools requiring the winning bidder to achieve certain neighborhood-friendly outcomes or pools that are reserved for nonprofit bidders only.


Public Policy-focused Sessions Will Add Unique Perspective to RVP Conference in Baltimore

Robert Finn, Public Policy Associate, NCST

Is your community in the fight against blight? Do you want to learn more about how to combat vacant and abandoned properties? Our friends at the Center For Community Progress are bringing the seventh national Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference to Baltimore, Maryland on September 28-30, 2016, where approximately 1,000 urban change-makers will gather. The 2016 RVP will consist of more than 50 engaging sessions and other learning opportunities over the course of three days.


On the Ground with the Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative (NSI) in Florida

Annie Carvalho, Vice President, Strategy and Development

In early June, a few of us from NCST joined representatives from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac on a jam-packed two day visit to the Tampa Bay and South Florida metro areas. We engaged with more than 15 community buyer organizations in roundtable sessions and on property tours across Pinellas, Hillsborough, Palm Beach, and Broward Counties.


The splintered campaign to end zombie foreclosures

Many advocates caution that RealtyTrac data underestimates the number of zombie foreclosures, which are hard to count.


HUD Mandates New Requirements on Nonperforming Loan Buyers

WASHINGTON — Buyers of nonperforming Federal Housing Administration loans will have to evaluate borrowers for principal reductions and abide by new restrictions issued by the Department of Housing and Development on Thursday. "Certain families with distressed mortgages insured by FHA may soon be eligible for a reduction of their outstanding loan amounts should their mortgages be sold through the Distressed Asset Stabilization Program," HUD said in a press release.


FHFA Report Highlights Results of GSEs' Nonperforming Loan Sales

Yet the results, released Thursday, also show that a significant percentage of loans sold to investors had better outcomes than nonperforming loans in the portfolios of Fannie and Freddie, according to Laurie Goodman, co-director of the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute.

Eight months after the loans were sold, 21% of the borrowers avoided foreclosure while 16% were foreclosed upon, according to the FHFA report. That compares to 14% of borrowers of loans held in GSE portfolios who avoided foreclosure and 20% who were foreclosed upon.


Shaky alliances form to fight zombie foreclosures

In some states, legislative fixes repurposed to go after owner-occupied housing. Many advocates caution that RealtyTrac data underestimates the number of zombie foreclosures, which are hard to count.


NCST Press Statement: FHA DASP Announcement

Today, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced a suite of changes to its Distressed Asset Sales Program (DASP) that will significantly improve the program's effect on homeowners, neighborhoods, and the housing market. These changes include requiring buyers of delinquent mortgages to offer principal reduction and sustainable modifications to qualified homeowners, prohibiting buyers from walking away from vacant properties, instituting a series of changes aimed at increasing the number of note sales to nonprofits and municipalities, and increasing the transparency of the program.


NCST Evaluates Proposed Fast-Track Legislation in OH: Help or Harm for Homeowners and Neighborhoods?

As part of our policy work, NCST has been monitoring "fast-track foreclosure" laws, which aim to prevent neighborhood blight by enabling abandoned homes to pass through the foreclosure process more quickly. Last month, Ohio passed a fast-track bill that many are considering a template for future legislation in other states. In considering whether this bill is truly a national model, NCST has contemplated whether the law appropriately speeds the process without harming homeowners or neighborhoods. In the case of the Ohio statute, we believe the verdict is decidedly mixed.


Success Stories

Lake Worth, Florida - R.E.A.C.H.

R.E.A.C.H., an NCST Community Buyer, took a vacant and dilapidated Palm Beach Gardens property, demolished it, and completed a newly built single-family home in Lake Worth, FL. Lake Worth, like much of Southern Florida, was hit hard in the 2008 economic crisis. The city is now rebounding...