PolicyLink has released a set of recommendations to help communities respond to foreclosures, in a new report titled When Investors Buy Up the Neighborhood: Strategies to Prevent Investor Ownership from Causing Neighborhood Decline.
The authors note that rental housing is a key element to meeting communities' diverse housing needs, and the recent foreclosure crisis has reminded policymakers that not all families should be homeowners. Communities can ensure that rental options are a community asset through such means as enforcing building codes and licensing landlords. Foreclosed homes can also provide a source of affordable homeownership, and communities can offer incentive programs that assist individuals to buy and rehab these foreclosed homes. The report offers a number of strategies to prevent and counter neighborhood decline and highlights a number of best practices from around the country.
The recommendations fall into three categories:
- Encourage homeowners or responsible investor owners to buy, rehabilitate, and maintain distressed properties.
- Strategically gain control of foreclosed properties.
- Hold property buyers accountable for property condition.
In the Chicago region, MPC is working with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, Chicago Southland Housing and Community Development Collaborative, and other partners to support interjurisdictional efforts to respond to foreclosures and target limited resources toward economic development and transit-oriented development corridors.
Employers are supporting these efforts by targeting their housing assistance to align with local policy objectives. Announced at an April event, CVS has recently signed on as a partner to help employees purchase foreclosed homes in conjunction with local foreclosure response efforts.
MPC can help employers, local communities, and other partners design and implement employer-assisted housing initiatives in the Chicago region and nationwide. Click here for contact information.