© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
To contact us with news tips, story ideas or other related information, e-mail newsstaff@ideastream.org.

US Treasury Official in Town to Learn From Area Foreclosure Efforts

In Congressman Dennis Kucinich's Lakewood office, the U.S. Treasury's Assistant Secretary Herbert Allison met with several dozen northeast Ohioans on the frontlines of the foreclosure crisis, employees of nonprofit agencies that provide free counseling to borrowers in trouble. Allison talked up the Obama administration's new plan to help some of the nation's most tumultuous housing and job markets: Nearly $2 billion dollars for 10 states to create programs to help slow foreclosure rates.

Herbert Allison: This crisis has shifted over the past year or so from being a subprime mortgage crisis to one that's mainly being driven today by unemployment and underwater mortgages. And so this new program is designed to address those two issues.

Ohio is slated to get $172 million under the plan. The state with help from the US Treasury gets to decide how to spend it. Foreclosure counseling agencies who help borrowers get loan fixes under Obama's mortgage modification plan called HAMP are banking on a cut of that funding. Jenelle Dame is at one of those agencies, Empowering and Strengthening Ohio's People, or ESOP.

Jenelle Dame: I think it's just really important that he remembers that housing counseling, and funding for it, is really what is helping homeowners succeed with the HAMP programs right now.

ESOP and other housing counseling groups have seen dramatic cuts in their budgets this year and worry that without federal dollars they may have to scale back. Ohio has to submit its proposal to the US Treasury by the end of the month.