Information | Best Practice Models
The decrease in property values resulting from the foreclosure crisis has both decreased the local tax revenue that communities use to pay for basic services and has contributed to the delayed recovery of local housing markets. Focusing foreclosure response efforts on restoring property values has been an effective strategy used by many Michigan communities.
MSHDA Property Improvement Program
Improving and preserving homes is critical to maintaining neighborhood property values. The MSHDA Property Improvement Program (PIP) offers low-interest home improvement loans to single-family Michigan homeowners and landlords. To be eligible, homeowners must have an income no greater than $65,000 and a credit score no lower than 620. Home improvements such as roof repairs, improvements that increase energy efficiency, ramp installation, and kitchen and bathroom renovations quality for PIP loans. MSHDA-approved participating lenders and community agents accept and process applications for PIP loans. For more information on borrower eligibility or becoming a participating lender or community agent is available at MSHDA.
The National Foreclosure Prevention and Neighborhood Stabilization Task Force, a cross-industry group of local and national organizations working to address the impacts of the foreclosure crisis on communities, recently published their recommendations concerning the monitoring of blight provisions (PDF) for National Attorneys General Mortgage Settlement Monitor Joseph Smith.
Though the letter of recommendations addresses specific provisions of the settlement, the recommendations broadly focus on the coordination of “efforts by localities, nonprofits, realtors, servicers, and others so that individual property-level efforts become neighborhood stabilization strategies.” The strategies outlined also take communities’ limited funds to address these problems into account, making this brief letter a great starting point for stakeholders interested in developing effective blight policy at a local level and advocates for quality state-level policy.