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Blight fight: New programs deal with vacant foreclosures

From AOL Real Estate

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Editor's note: The following item is republished with permission of AOL Real Estate. See the original article: "Foreclosure Rehab: Ramping Up the Battle Against Blight." By Teke Wiggan 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.Some nonprofits are taking robust measures to combat the epidemic of foreclosures, also known as REO (for "real estate owned") hom...