Murphy adds $10 million to program to help homeowners avoid foreclosure

Gov. Phil Murphy is allocating $10 million in federal COVID funds to state programs aimed at preventing foreclosures.

The state Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency will use dollars from the federal American Rescue Plan to provide financial assistance to some homeowners facing foreclosure to renovate and sell their vacant homes.

This effort is related to anti-foreclosure laws. Signed in March 2021 It also allows the state to purchase defaulted mortgages from the Federal Housing Administration prior to foreclosure. If residents live there, the state helps them stay home. If the home is abandoned, the state takes ownership, repairs the property, and puts it back on the market.

At a press conference Wednesday, the governor said the law “protects communities from being adversely affected by the presence of abandoned homes.”

Stacey Berger, president of the New Jersey Housing and Community Development Network, celebrated the allotment, noting a surge in evictions, rent and mortgage arrears, and unpaid utility bills during the pandemic. , disproportionately impacts black and brown communities, she said.

Congressman Yvonne Lopez (D-Union) also applauded the move, calling the New Jersey Foreclosure Prevention Act “a blueprint for ending our perpetual status as the state with the highest foreclosure rates in the country.”

Real estate research by AttomAcross the Garden State, 1 in 6,675 homes face foreclosure compared to 1 in 6,675 homes nationwide, the report said. said.

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