Texas Habitat May Buy Bank Foreclosures Homes Sales

by on States

The Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity in Texas may venture into a $1.75 million agreement with the state government to choose bank foreclosures homes sales in the counties of Bell and Coryell.

The local Habitat chapter will act as the state’s agent in choosing foreclosed homes, manage their rehabilitation and match them to families with low income to purchase. The funds that will be used for the initiative are part of the $90 million stimulus package that Texas has received under the federal program aimed at stabilizing neighborhoods devastated by the foreclosure crisis.

The federal program’s funding was made possible by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, according to Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs senior communications adviser Gordon Anderson.

Anderson explained that the funds are intended to stabilize communities that have suffered the most from the foreclosure crisis to prevent the drastic decline of property values in surrounding neighborhoods.

Fort Hood Area Habitat executive director Gene Bauer said that if the deal will push through, Bell County will receive $1.1 million while $630,000 will be allocated to Coryell County. He clarifies that the Habitat will not earn any profit as it will act as agent of the state.

Bauer also said that his responsibilities involve identifying foreclosure houses in the area, do some paperwork to buy them and present the completed package to the Department of Housing. He added that the state will be the one to close on the deal and will hold the title to properties.

Meanwhile, the Habitat will manage the acquired foreclosure houses and arrange for renovations to be made. The cost of renovations will be reimbursed by the state, Bauer said. Habitat will also be responsible in identifying potential low-income families who are eligible to buy the renovated foreclosure properties.

On its part, the state will provide a 30-year, interest free loan to eligible families for them to purchase the property.

The traditional mode of assistance provided by Habitat involves helping a family build a new house. In return, the family must volunteer to help in building homes for other families. For the foreclosure program, the nonprofit will hire contractors and subcontractors, thus helping also the local construction business.

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