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Tacoma receives almost $4 million from national mortgage settlement to fix foreclosure blight

Post by Kathleen Cooper / The News Tribune on Sep. 14, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
September 14, 2012 2:44 pm

Tacoma will receive $3.86 million to help parts of the city deal with the legacy of foreclosures.

The money is part of Washington state’s share of the $25 billion national mortgage settlement with five of the largest banks. The City of Tacoma is one of 14 recipients of the state’s $43.8 million.

The funds will be used by three community groups to buy, repair and sell foreclosed houses on the Hilltop, East Side, South End and South Tacoma neighborhoods, as well as to provide down-payment assistance for people who want to buy foreclosed homes in those areas.

The Homeownership Center of Tacoma, Habitat for Humanity and the Tacoma Housing Authority expect to directly serve about 80 households, according to the city’s application.

According to RealtyTrac data, about 250 homes in Tacoma are in foreclosure, and more foreclosed homes remain vacant. Tacoma’s foreclosure rate of .18 percent of all homes is double the state rate of .08 percent.

“These funds will benefit many neighborhoods throughout the city,” Ric Teasley, housing division manager with the City’s Community and Economic Development Department, said Friday in a news release. “Foreclosed vacant houses tend to attract transients, criminal activities and become littered with graffiti. This funding gives … a resource to help improve neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by foreclosures.”

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