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Front Page » Top Stories » No Rescue Federal Funds Will Not Do Much For Brickell Foreclosures

No Rescue Federal Funds Will Not Do Much For Brickell Foreclosures

www.miamitodaynews.com
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Written by on November 13, 2008

By Risa Polansky
Federal funds meant to tackle the nation’s foreclosure epidemic won’t pack a tremendous punch here, impacting relatively few units and shutting out foreclosure hotbeds like the Brickell area.

In Miami-Dade County, the $62.2 million provided through the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 is expected to impact only 578 housing units, the county’s proposal for use of the funds says.

From November 2007 to July 2008, lenders repossessed 6,453 properties throughout the county, the proposal says, and from May through July alone filed 5,050 notices of pending action.

Through the federal program, the county plans to provide mortgage help to buyers of 80 homes; acquire and fix up 50 foreclosed homes, and for rental housing, 212 foreclosed multi-family properties; and as part of a neighborhood redevelopment initiative, rehab 236 demolished or vacant properties for rental housing.

"There’s certainly not enough dollars to address all the needs," said Clarence Brown, the county’s director of housing assets management. "But it’s certainly a good thing when you can receive funds that will be able to help families in the affordable markets."

But the "affordable markets" condition that comes as part of the program means areas like Brickell — the heart of the condo boom and home to Miami’s highest reported number of foreclosures — are out of luck.

The affluent area won’t see much of the city’s $12.06 million in federal funds because it doesn’t qualify, said George Mensah, director of community development.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development wants local governments to invest in high-risk neighborhoods: areas with not only a large number of foreclosures, but also low-income residents.