Blight fight: New programs deal with vacant foreclosures

From AOL Real Estate

The foreclosure crisis, which has caused around 4 million people to lose their homes, has wreaked havoc on many neighborhoods. Foreclosed homes drag down property values when they swell the housing supply and sell at below-market rates. These bank-owned homes also can erode the character of communities by attracting all manner of blight as they sit unoccupied.

The foreclosure scourge is especially acute in minority neighborhoods, according to a recent report by the National Fair Housing Alliance, which found that banks take much better care of their foreclosed properties in predominantly white neighborhoods than those in minority communities.