In July of 2009, the Community Action Agency (Jackson, Lenawee & Hillsdale) launched the tri-county Community Foreclosure Coalition (CAA) to respond to the foreclosure crisis in the region. Using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, CAA hired a Coalition Director to build and manage the coalition. By late 2010 when funding to staff the coalition dried up, it had:
- Built & engaged a broad-based coalition of 75 partners;
- Increased awareness of the crisis through one-on-one meetings with key leaders, town hall meetings, presentations to key stakeholder groups, employer-based informational sessions, media, etc.;
- Developed and broadly disseminated electronic & printed mortgage and tax foreclosure prevention materials (in English and in Spanish);
- Developed a website– a one-stop source of tri-county -specific foreclosure-related news, information & resources;
- Published a monthly E-newsletter GIMMER SHELTER;
- Improved communication, cooperation and coordination among free HUD or MSHDA-certified foreclosure counselors & legal service attorneys across the tri-county area;
- Increased number of people seeking free services from these, unbiased, highly qualified professionals;
- Hosted a Tri-County Leadership Summit to establish specific tri-county & county-specific foreclosure prevention and response priorities;
- Established a time-limited tri-county Steering Committee to guide the effort;
- Improved communication, coordination and cooperation between those involved the foreclosure process itself including Registers of Deeds, County Treasurers, Sheriff’s Deputies, etc.;
- Brought additional stakeholders to the table to help with the work including local banks & credit unions, realtors, bankruptcy attorneys, the IRS, major employers, etc.;
- Worked closely with CEDAM and Michigan Foreclosure Task Force sharing coalition-building best practices, advancing public policy efforts;
Secured a grant from MFTF to pay for NeighborWorks Scam Alert Campaign materials; and
- Developed Public Policy Agenda focused on identifying a dedicated funding stream to support foreclosure counseling and broader homeowner education and secured the endorsement and support of The Michigan Foreclosure Task Force.
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