Agencies to Buy, Fix and Sell Bank Owned Homes Foreclosures

by Peter Vernon on Foreclosure Help

Help is on its way to Appleton neighborhoods blighted by bank owned homes foreclosures. Four agencies in Fox Valley are planning to purchase and rehabilitate several foreclosure properties using the affordable housing grant amounting to $1.2 million.

The federal grant is part of Wisconsin’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program designed to help neighborhoods hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis.

The affordable housing program is designed to meet the needs of the economically diverse population of the city. Each of the four participating agencies that are planning to buy and redevelop bank owned homes foreclosures in Appleton has its own plan.

The Appleton Housing Authority hopes to create two duplex buildings with handicap accessibility. The Habitat for Humanity-Greater Fox Cities Area chapter will target foreclosure properties for demolition and building of new housing.

On the other hand, ESTHER of the Fox Valley is planning to rehabilitate two bank owned homes foreclosures and sell them to working families. Additionally, the Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities has partnered with the Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley to purchase and redevelop two duplexes. The renovated duplexes will then be leased to homeless families transitioning to permanent houses.

Appleton Housing Authority vice chairwoman and ESTHER Workforce Housing Task Force member Kathy Groat said that organizers are working double time on the initiative. She said that the housing projects are critical, noting that home prices are way too high for individuals and families who work in Appleton.

ESTHER is set to receive about $255,000 for its projects. It has a turnaround of nine months for its projects and has set sessions for potential qualified buyers. ESTHER organizers expect to recover $75,000 from each renovated foreclosed property which they plan to use to fund two more housing projects using private financing.

Meanwhile, Housing Partnership will receive the largest share of the fund which is $511,000 to be used to rehabilitate five duplexes. On its part, Habitat for Humanity will be awarded about $105,000 for its nine housing projects. The money is less than the $650,000 sought by the organization because its goal does not jibe with the state’s program to purchase bank owned homes foreclosures.

The Appleton Housing Authority is set to receive $316,500 and has partnered with the school district to save labor costs.

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