Dallas to Use Federal Aid to Put Families Into Foreclosed Homes

Program to help stabilize neighborhoods with high number of foreclosures

Dallas is receiving nearly $8 million from the federal government for a neighborhood stabilization program aimed at putting families in foreclosed homes.

The money will be used to buy and rehabilitate foreclosed homes and then sell them to new owners at low, fixed interest rates.

As lawmakers in Washington debate other bailout plans, the money for the program was approved in an earlier federal assistance package.

"This is actually something that’s being done," said Jerry Killingsworth, director of the Dallas Housing Department. "We’re doing it now, and it’s right down at the consumer level."

The Dallas City Council approved participation in the program Wednesday.

City officials forecast as many as 4,000 foreclosures this year. City leaders expect to buy only several hundred of those homes with the federal money.

They said they will focus on the neighborhoods with the most foreclosures.

"Having this money will help us stimulate the market," Councilwoman Carolyn Davis said.

City officials said the houses might otherwise sit vacant, attracting crime and blight.

Nonprofit groups and private investors will be asked to help the city buy and sell the properties. 

Davis said people who have been recently foreclosed on may be eligible to participate.

"Hopefully they can go back through credit counseling, understand what they didn’t do right and perhaps try to get back into this market," she said.

Officials expect to have the program running by January.

"We’re not talking about the large corporations here, we’re talking about the individuals that have been most devastated by this challenge," Killingsworth said.

Several other North Texas cities are also receiving grants for the program.

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