State Reps. Christie Kuhns (D-Cincinnati) and Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira) today announced the introduction of House Resolution 107, legislation urging the Congress of the United States to renew funding for Save the Dream Ohio to help homeowners in the state avoid foreclosure.
“This program has been instrumental in helping save Ohio’s homes and the dreams of so many families,” said Rep. Kuhns. “While our communities continue to recover from the impacts of the housing crisis, a sustained effort is needed to continue to protect the economic integrity of neighborhoods. The Save the Dream Program has been a successful effort in this regard, and without federal action we stand to lose some of the ground we have gained in responding to the crisis.”
The national housing crisis led to unprecedented home price declines and higher unemployment in Ohio. In 2008, Save the Dream Ohio was created as a multi-agency foreclosure prevention outreach initiative involving partners from state government, nonprofit housing counseling agencies, and legal aid organizations to address the crisis. The Ohio Housing Finance Agency received $570.4 million from the United States Treasury Department’s Hardest Hit Fund to administer Ohio’s foreclosure prevention program through Save the Dream Ohio.
To date, nearly $400 million has been disbursed on behalf of over 24,000 homeowners at risk of foreclosure with $60 million reserved for anticipated disbursements. Additionally, $60 million was designated for a new effort, the Neighborhood Initiative Program, to help eliminate blighted, abandoned residential properties and stabilize surrounding home values. With funds running out, Save the Dream Ohio stopped accepting applications in August 2014 and payments on behalf of homeowners are expected to end sometime in late 2016. Treasury guidelines require all Hardest Hit Funds to be dispersed no later than December 31, 2017.