HUD Confronted on Foreclosure Relief Program

For more information contact John Dodds, Philadelphia Unemployment Project 267-975-4706,
Lew Finfer, MA Communities Action Network/PICO National Network, 617-470-2912

HUD Confronted on Foreclosure Relief Program

Organizations call for action to implement Emergency Homeowner Loan Program – Meet with HUD officials Tuesday

Philadelphia, PA – Over 60 national, regional and local organizations have called on HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan to move quickly to implement the new Emergency Homeowner Loan Program (EHLP) which was passed as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation last July. The program is focused on providing bridge loans for unemployed homeowners facing foreclosure.

In a letter dated January 21, 2011 the groups called on Secretary Donovan and HUD to move swiftly as “the program was overdue when it was enacted in July 2010. By that time unemployment had been over 9.4% for 15 consecutive months… This foreclosure crisis is too severe for such a slow pace of implementation,” they wrote, “particularly in light of the fact that all funds must be obligated by September 30, 2011.” The $1 billion funding for the program must be promised by September 30, 2011 according to the legislation.

Representatives of the groups are meeting on Tuesday, January 25th with William Apgar, Special Assistant to the Secretary of HUD who is overseeing the program for the agency. “The fact that HUD has yet to even establish guidelines for EHLP is an outrage,” said John Dodds, Director of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, which works with unemployed homeowners. “We were able to get our courts in Philadelphia to halt Sheriff Sales in January waiting for the program to offer help, but we still have no concrete regulations and sales will resume in March.”

“Unemployed homeowners across the nation are being denied the chance to save their homes while HUD delays,” said Lew Finfer, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Communities Action Network. “It is now six months since the legislation was enacted.”

“We’re facing disaster and this is our last hope,” said unemployed homeowner Sharon Green of Philadelphia. “We need this program ASAP. Thousands have already lost their homes and I don’t want to join them”

EHLP was passed to supplement the Hardest Hit States funds that provided funds to prevent foreclosures in the 18 “hardest hit” states according to unemployment and foreclosures. Homeowners in 32 states are targeted to get assistance through EHLP, which is to offer no interest loans to homeowners in default due to unemployment or illness. Click here: HUD Emergency Homeowner Loan Program (EHLP)