Tucson Foreclosure Homes Kept Surging, City Got Rehab Money

by Peter Vernon on cities

Tucson foreclosure homes continued to soar in 2009, contributing significantly to the increased pace of Arizona foreclosures during the same year.

Investors spending resources to find bank foreclosures for sale can consider Tucson and other parts of Arizona as foreclosure activities continued to surge in these areas.

In 2009, a total of 12,798 foreclosure actions were filed in Tucson, marking a sharp increase of 42 percent from filings in 2008 and a sharper increase of 201 percent from filings in 2007. The number was equivalent to 3 percent of all residential units in the city.

Similarly, the foreclosure pace statewide surged, posting a year-over-year increase of 40 percent to a record total of 163,201 filings. The number was equivalent to 6.12 percent of all residential units in the state and also marked a whopping 323.2-percent increase from filings in 2007.

Arizona has been among the most foreclosure-battered states since the start of the downturn, ranking second only to Nevada in foreclosure rate in 2009.

In January this year, it was again second in foreclosure rate, posting more than 21,000 filings during the month and bucking the declining trend of most other states. It was this bleak foreclosure situation that put Arizona within the radar of federal concern. Recently, Arizona and four other foreclosure-battered states received $1.5 billion in federal assistance to contain their foreclosures. Obama noted the sharp decline in home values in the state when he announced the additional funding.

Tucson foreclosure homes also received attention from the federal Housing and Urban Development Department. The city received a total of $4.2 million to buy and fix foreclosed homes for its affordable housing and rental program and its neighborhood revitalization program.

The money was part of the $22.165 million given by the HUD under its second-round Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding to Pima County, where Tucson is the county seat. In Arizona, only three entities were given funds: Pima County, the city of Phoenix and the nonprofit Chicanos Por La Causa.

Since the downturn, the city of Tucson has already received a total of $56.3 million in funding under the programs of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and has already purchased about 50 foreclosure homes since receiving ARRA money in 2009.

According to Albert Elias, director of the Tucson Housing and Community Development Department, the city will buy and fix about 80 bargain-priced Tucson foreclosure homes. He added that he hopes the affordable rehabilitation and housing program will eventually become self-sustaining.

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