Phoenix to get $39 million to stabilize housing market

[Source: Eric English, ABC News 15] — Cassia Vaughn has spent the last decade living in the historic Willo neighborhood in [midtown] Phoenix.  The last couple years have seen home prices drop and foreclosures rise as the Valley housing market spirals to all-time lows.  A new program about to get underway soon may help more than just her neighborhood bounce back.  “Oh, I love it,” Vaughn said.  “It’s wonderful news, especially because of my children.  They are looking to buy their first home.  It’s a blessing.  I am really happy.”

The City of Phoenix is set to receive part of a $4 billion federal housing housing and recovery program.  The city could receive more than $39 million to buy foreclosed and abandoned homes to help stabilize neighborhoods. Neighborhood Services’ Kate Kreitor explained, “We’re really hoping to make an impact on the homes that have become vacant and blighted in the harder hit neighborhoods of our community.”

Kreitor said the idea is to buy the empty homes from banks at low prices, then offer them to qualified residents.  She said the program will help new buyers take advantage of low prices, and help property values bounce back. “We are excited about the program, and hope to address some homes in neighborhoods that will really be visible and make a big difference,” Kreitor said.

That’s good news for the Vaughns as they hope to whether the tough times. “We really appreciate the fact that the city would try to preserve this beautiful area,”Vaughn said. “We really appreciate the efforts.”

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