Friday, January 18, 2013

Draft Action Letter - HUD Homes

After several requests, we are posting this boilerplate letter to submit to elected officials regarding the elimination of the HUD Homes program.

Dear ______:

I am writing today to ask that you look into the recent decision by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to cancel its sales of post-foreclosure homes to the Cuyahoga County Land Bank at a deep discount.  

I am sure you know the story of the recently created county land banks in Ohio.  In Cuyahoga County, the land bank is making a real difference for urban redevelopers by serving as a clearinghouse for rectifying the most title-clouded properties on the market.  

Historically, HUD's presence in the chain of title has been a death knell for many properties.  The program that shifted these HUD homes into the land bank has been far more successful than previous efforts to push HUD-foreclosed homes directly into the hands of developers.  In Cleveland's Collinwood neighborhood in particular, real strides are being made to put this housing stock back into the private market.  One such program is bringing artists from across the country to the Collinwood neighborhood in concert with numerous other arts-based neighborhood development initiatives in the area.  Please do what you can to reverse HUD's change of policy.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Action Alert - HUD Homes

The Plain Dealer recently reported that the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development will cancel its ongoing deal to sell post-foreclosure homes to the Cuyahoga Land Bank at a deep discount.

As many of you are aware, Northeast Shores has aggressively used this program to create nearly 30 homeownership opportunities in our neighborhood since the Land Bank opened in 2010. This program allowed us to sell homes to interested buyers for as little as $5,000. In a few circumstances, these homes were completely rehabilitated and sold for nearly $100,000. These homeownership opportunities allowed us to further attract artists to the neighborhood, remove the number of blighting structures by returning them to productive use, and increase the rate of neighborhood homeownership.

During a time when our community is still dealing with the aftereffects of the foreclosure tsunami, it is essential that we are able to continue to provide these opportunities for homeownership. We are currently under-supplied due to a significant uptick in artist demand from across the country. As we are finally seeing a possible neighborhood recovery, it is critical that this program continue so our plans can proceed.

Please take just a few moments out of your busy schedule and contact your senators and representatives and let them know that they need to reverse this bad decision. Even if you do not live or work in the Collinwood community, this is a national decision that needs further examination.

It is very rare that we ask you to reach out to Congress on our behalf. Please help!

If you missed the Plain Dealer stories, they can be read here:

To get contact information for your member of Congress, please use the following links: