Thursday, July 03, 2008

Local Community Not Waiting for Federal Government to Address Mortgage Crisis

Fairfax County, Virginia becomes the first local community in the country to kill two birds, the mortgage crisis and the affordable housing challenge, with one stone:  a housing program to buy foreclosed properties for middle income families.  I doubt you'll find anything close to Fairfax County anywhere in Tennessee, which has its own wavering habits that squander precious time.

I don't see anyone in Metro Nashville making these kinds of plans.  We would rather subsidize our mildly supported hockey team.  And, God knows, the first thing a family whose adjustable rate mortgage has just rocketed skyward wants to do is to catch a Predators' match.

Here are the details that we seem to be missing:
Fairfax is plunging deeper into the issue by agreeing to spend more than $10 million in tax revenue toward the purchase of as many as 200 foreclosed houses. The county will purchase 10 houses outright; the rest will be purchased by qualifying buyers with the help of government-backed, low-interest loans. Buyers will be eligible for subsidized mortgages as well as low-interest second trusts up to $70,000. Most of the assistance will be directed to first-time buyers earning as much as $75,600, or 80 percent of the area's median income. Most purchases will be limited to $385,000 and exclude condominiums. All of the money in the first year would come from existing housing programs.

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