Ohio senator wants stimulus money to battle foreclosures

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Ohio senator wants stimulus money to battle foreclosures

Columbus Business First – Ohio was not among the five states picked to share additional federal stimulus funding to combat home foreclosures and declining real estate values in February, and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is making a case to amend that.

Brown, a Democrat, visited Columbus Friday to announce Ohio’s need for additional funds.

Characterizing the Buckeye state as being on the frontline of the housing crisis, Brown noted Ohio ranks sixth in the nation for the total number of homeowners who owe more on their properties than they’re worth, based on a report from the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, a nonprofit housing assistance agency.

Yet, Brown said, Ohio was not included among award winners in the Help for the Hardest-Hit Housing Markets program announced by President Barack Obama last month. Also known as 4HP, the program will spread $1.5 billion in leftover bank bailout funds to states with declining housing stock. Nevada, Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan were chosen to receive the money.

“Too many Ohioans are trying to modify their mortgages so they can hold onto their homes, but getting nothing but the run-around from their lenders,” Brown said. “Too many communities are seeing vacant and abandoned properties that lower surrounding property values and compromise economic development.”

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