Washington, DC — The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) today applauded the announcement by the Obama Administration of a developing plan to put vacant and abandoned properties owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) back to productive use as affordable housing. John Taylor, President & CEO of NCRC, made this statement about the initiative:
“Some see the economy as a glass half full, others as a glass half empty. But the glass has a hole in the bottom of it, and that’s the housing market. This measure helps seal the hole by putting back to productive use the glut of vacant and abandoned properties nationwide. We’re impressed that they’re looking for innovative solutions to ease this country’s affordable rental housing and affordable homeownership crises.”
“This initiative has the potential to solve a fundamental problem facing the housing market today. But it also creates opportunities to increase affordable housing and to create living wage jobs locally. Both problems are undermining the economy, and both require practical and aggressive solutions. We’re glad that they’re seeking the best ideas from the field, and we’ve offered our own ideas on how to prevent foreclosure through greater use of principal reductions, as well as ways to stabilize communities through this initiative.
“One example of an innovative idea to stabilize communities is to pair this initiative with a jobs program. The areas in the country that have been hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis have also been hit hard by a jobs crisis. By utilizing local workers to rehabilitate houses, and pairing those efforts with workforce training programs, the Administration has the opportunity to solve two problems with one initiative.