Maryland County Helps Fund Foreclosure Prevention And Rehabilitation

mery County, Md., and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will provide three nonprofit organizations with up to $450,000 to support housing counseling efforts. The Housing Initiative Partnership (HIP), HomeFree USA and the Latino Economic Development Corp. (LEDC) will provide foreclosure prevention counseling services for Montgomery County residents, says County Executive Isiah Leggett. Leggett has also announced that the county's Department of Housing and Community Affairs will loan Arlington, Va.-based not-for-profit developer AHC Inc. $2 million to acquire, renovate and resell foreclosed properties in the Germantown area to qualified low- and moderate-income households. "Foreclosures in the county are a big concern for me, and we are working to address the problem on multiple fronts," Leggett says. "Counseling for homeowners to try and avoid foreclosures is extremely important, as is helping organizations such as AHC purchase foreclosed properties so neighborhoods remain stable." Since 2007, more than 9,000 Montgomery County properties have entered the foreclosure process, with Germantown, Gaithersburg, Wheaton, Aspen Hill and Glenmont being some of the hardest-hit areas. Twelve hundred have been taken over by lending institutions. Currently, HIP is operating out of an office in the Upcounty Regional Center, and HomeFree USA has an office provided with support from the city of Gaithersburg. Counselors for the LEDC work in Wheaton. The additional funding will increase the total number of counselors to eight, up from the four that are currently available. SOURCE: Montgomery

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