A spreadsheet that shows the prevalence of subprime lending and delinquency and foreclosure rates in more than 1,000 housing markets could provide an indication of where nearly $4 billion in federal grants will be spent to help state and local governments buy foreclosed and abandoned homes.

The spreadsheet, produced by researchers at the Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC), is intended to help local officials assess needs within states that were allocated funds at the end of September. State and local governments must submit an action plan by Dec. 1 detailing how they will distribute the Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds, which are supposed to go to high-risk areas with the greatest percentage of subprime loans and foreclosures.

To help identify high-risk areas, LISC calculated "foreclosure needs scores" for geographic areas at the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) jurisdiction level. According to the Center for Housing Policy’s HousingPolicy.org, the need scores are based on measures of subprime lending, foreclosures and delinquency from McDash Analytics, combined with vacancy rates from the U.S. Postal Service.

Although the spreadsheet was created to help local officials decide how to disburse the federal grants, it also provides useful insight into local market conditions. The LISC Foreclosure Needs Scores spreadsheet reveals vacancy ratios and the number and percentage of delinquencies, foreclosures and real-estate-owned properties in hundreds of individual housing markets, as well as the number and percentage of subprime loans.

The spreadsheet uses CDBG boundary definitions dating from 2005 and omits a few jurisdictions. LISC is planning to generate foreclosure needs scores at the ZIP code level, HousingPolicy.org said.

After Congress created the program in July, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Sept. 26 allocated more than 300 Neighborhood Stabilization Program grants to state and local jurisdictions totalling $3.92 billion. States receiving the largest allocations include California ($530 million), Florida ($541 million), Michigan ($264 million), Ohio ($258 million) and Texas ($178 million).

For more information, see the Neighborhood Stabilization Program home page at HUD’s Web site, and HUD spreadsheets summarizing statewide allocations and listing local grants.

HUD has created its own Neighborhood Stabilization Program data page that provides income limits for the program, foreclosure and abandonment risk scores at the Census Block level, and foreclosure rates at the county, place and Census-tract level.

The Reinvestment Fund, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that offers data on housing, demographics and lending available through an online database, PolicyMap, is loading HUD Neighborhood Stabilization Program data on high-cost loans, predicted foreclosure and foreclosure risk scores into the site’s mapping tool.


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