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Federal Reserve Board of Governors

Resources for Stabilizing Communities


Communities across the country are facing the challenge of dealing with the destabilizing impacts of foreclosed properties. The following resources provide information and strategies for communities working to preserve and revitalize their neighborhoods. Specific resources are also available for consumers; Systemwide information is available from the 12 Reserve Bank Foreclosure Resource Centers.

REO and Vacant Properties: Strategies for Neighborhood Stabilization (4.6 MB PDF) contains seventeen articles that examine a variety of neighborhood stabilization issues. The collection highlights both areas of need--such as for data, technology, and collaboration--and promising solutions from communities across the country. Examples include the Cuyahoga County, Ohio, land bank that holds vacant properties until they can be returned to productive use, and Boston Community Capital’s efforts to purchase foreclosed properties and sell them back to former owners or tenants using a licensed mortgage affiliate.

Addressing the Impact of the Foreclosure Crisis (5.6 MB PDF) Leaving the Board
A new publication details the innovative, community-based foreclosure prevention and neighborhood stabilization activities sponsored by the Federal Reserve as part of its Mortgage Outreach and Research Efforts (MORE) initiative.

Symposium: Confronting the Neighborhood Impacts of Foreclosure Leaving the Board
This Federal Reserve System event highlighted potential solutions for acquiring and disposing of vacant and abandoned properties in the wake of the foreclosure crisis, addressing issues including

  • effectively utilizing and leveraging national resources to address abandonment
  • navigating ownership and control of vacant property
  • pricing and valuation of vacant properties
  • models of vacant property disposition Leaving the Board
Part of the Federal Reserve's response to the foreclosure crisis is an initiative with NeighborWorks America® to address the effects of foreclosures on communities. NeighborWorks® created this website to provide nonprofit groups and their partners with information and strategies to stabilize and revitalize communities.

How to Spend $3.92 Billion: Stabilizing Neighborhoods by Addressing Foreclosed/Abandoned Properties (325 KB PDF) Leaving the Board
The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 created the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which provides $3.92 billion to help stabilize towns, cities, and neighborhoods affected by subprime lending and foreclosures. This discussion paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia outlines 11 key principles for communities to consider as they plan for and use NSP funds.

Community Response to the Foreclosure Crisis: Thoughts on Local Interventions (181 KB PDF) Leaving the Board
This discussion paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta describes a range of local responses to surging foreclosures. Local governments, nonprofits, and community groups can consult this survey of potential and actual near-term strategies as they plan and implement their own responses.

The Accumulation of Foreclosed Properties: Trajectories of Metropolitan REO Inventories during the 2007–2008 Mortgage Crisis (1.5 MB PDF) Leaving the Board
This discussion paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta provides a first look at how lender-owned homes, often called real-estate-owned or "REO" properties, have accumulated across metropolitan areas since the advent of the 2007-2008 mortgage crisis. Understanding the accumulation, aging, and nature of REO inventories in different local housing markets can inform policies and practices regarding how to help communities and neighborhoods recover from surging foreclosures.

Understanding Ohio’s Land Bank Legislation (106 KB PDF) Leaving the Board
In response to the effects of sustained high rates of foreclosure, policymakers in Ohio are considering the land bank model as a way to help address the problem of vacant and abandoned properties in cities like Cleveland. This discussion paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland seeks to inform those discussions by explaining the state's current land banking system and by illustrating how the system that has been proposed in legislation might work.

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Last update: April 28, 2011